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Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids

Legislation was passed in 2017 requiring the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to develop regulations for over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids. The intent of the legislation was to offer adults with perceived mild-to-moderate hearing loss the opportunity to purchase a device on their own at a lower cost. The regulations were expected to be released in 2020.

OTC Hearing Aids Impact on Audiologists

ASHA believes that patients with hearing loss will continue to need the services of an audiologist. Devices alone do not always meet the rehabilitative needs of people with impaired hearing. Successfully meeting a patient’s communication needs requires an ongoing partnership between the patient and their audiologist. Consumers with OTC hearing aids will need help to address the complexity of their hearing loss and achieve desired outcomes with their devices. The OTC hearing aid bill received significant media attention and raised awareness of the prevalence of hearing loss. Although the legislation was not ideal, many more people are now aware of the audiology profession and the services we can provide.

Audiologists Can Learn More About OTC Hearings

Questions?

Contact Bill Knudsen, ASHA's director of education policy, at bknudsen@asha.org

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