The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) transformed the hearing health-care landscape by creating a new over-the-counter (OTC) class of hearing aids. While OTC hearing aids will be widely available at lower costs, they are not right for everyone. This toolkit will help you educate your patients about OTC hearing aids, communicate the continued value of audiologists, and collaborate with pharmacists and physicians.
These resources will help you communicate the value—and limitations—of OTC hearing aids to your patients.
OTC Hearing Aids Frequently Asked Questions
These FAQs will help you address common patient questions. Download and print this sheet to use at your practice.
What’s the Difference Between an Audiologist and Hearing Aid Dispenser?
As OTC hearing aids continue to arrive on the market, you may be receiving more inquiries from patients on different providers they can see to help them with their hearing journey. This graphic explains the difference between a hearing aid dispenser and an audiologist.
Community Presentation: Is an OTC Hearing Aid Right For Me? [PPTX]
Speaking at a senior center, health fair, or other community event? This PowerPoint presentation covers information about OTC hearing aids and the role of audiologists. Add information about your clinic. You can also show this slide deck on the TV in your waiting room.
With OTC hearing aids available in pharmacies, patients will likely turn to pharmacists for advice. These resources help audiologists connect with local pharmacists, guide them in answering common patient questions, and encourage them to build a referral network. Pharmacists can print these materials for use at their pharmacy — either at the checkout counter or near the OTC hearing aid display. Note: Documentation for patients may vary by pharmacy location.
Customizable Audiologist Collaboration Invitation Letter to Pharmacists
Use this letter to introduce yourself to local pharmacists and explain how you can support them. This template can be downloaded as a Word Document and easily customized for your needs.
Patient Hearing Checklist [PDF]
This checklist will help pharmacists understand whether OTC hearing aids will work for a patient and when to refer to an audiologist.
Audiologist and ENT Referral Guide for Pharmacists
If OTC hearing aids are not right for a patient, pharmacists can refer them to a local audiologist or ENT. This guide walks pharmacists through that process.
Audiologist Referral Sheet for Pharmacists [PDF]
Pharmacists can print this referral sheet for patients who are not a good fit for OTC hearing aids.
When to Stop Using an OTC Hearing Aid Infographic [PDF]
This graphic helps people with OTC hearing aids understand when they should stop wearing an OTC hearing aid and seek help from an audiologist.
Pharmacist Learning Course on OTC Hearing Aids
This online course was created by a pharmacist and audiologist. It covers the basics information pharmacists need to know about OTC hearing aids, how to assist patients, and when to refer to an audiologist.
A patient’s family physician is often their most trusted source of healthcare advice. These resources help audiologists connect with local physicians and provide them the information they need to answer patient questions about OTC hearing aids.
OTC Hearing Aid Resources for Primary Care Physicians
This page covers what physicians should know about hearing aids and hearing loss. It also provides information about who will—and will not—benefit from OTC hearing aids.
Educational Presentation for Primary Care Physicians [PPTX]
Have an upcoming “lunch and learn” with a local physician office? This presentation covers information about OTC hearing aids and the role of audiologists. It can also be used as part of an information packet at a local primary care office.
Patient Hearing Checklist [PDF]
This checklist will help physicians understand whether OTCs will work for a patient.
The following resources will help you learn more about OTC hearing aids and related regulations.
ASHA Voices: When OTCs Arrive, Pharmacists Could be Key Allies for Audiologists [podcast]
Over-the-counter hearing aids are creating new opportunities for audiologists and pharmacists to work together. Listen to ASHA’s podcast to learn more.
National Outcomes Measurement System (NOMS)
This voluntary data collection registry helps measure the value of audiology and speech-language pathology services. Help collect data on audiology outcomes, which may include the use of any hearing device, by signing up for the registry.
Over-the-Counter Hearing Devices: A Special Collection of Resources From Across ASHA Publications
Learn more about OTC hearing aids in this special collection of journal articles from across ASHA’s publications.
Educational Presentation for Audiology Students [PPTX]
This PowerPoint presentation covers information about OTC hearing aids and the role of audiologists.
Proposed Rule Establishing Over-the-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aids [PDF]
A side-by-side comparison summarizing recommendations put forth in the 2018 consensus paper drafted by the hearing care associations (ASHA, AAA, ADA, & IHS) and the FDA-proposed regulations released in October 2021.
Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids
This short video produced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration describes OTC hearing aids and for whom they are intended.
OTC Hearing Aids: What You Should Know
This U.S. Food and Drug Administration webpage provides a general summary of over-the-counter hearing aids.
Why OTC Hearing Aids Aren’t Right for Kids—But Other Options Are
This article produced by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics goes over why OTC hearing aids are not appropriate for children.
Why You CAN’T Get OTC Hearing Aids for Kids
A parent friendly resource that addresses why OTC hearing aids aren’t appropriate for children with a Listening and Spoken Language focus from Hearing First.