Helping Sarasota & Bradenton to Safely Benefit from Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids

On August 16th, 2022, the FDA finalized their ruling on Over-The-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aids.

A set of six Hearing Aid Devices available Over-the-Counter

This step was developed following President Biden’s Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy, which called for the FDA to take steps to allow hearing aids to be sold over the counter.

The news was positively greeted with brands such as Jabra and Sony launching their over-the-counter devices into Best Buy and Pharmacies in October 2022.

What Are Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids?

These devices are for people that are 18 years of age and older who have perceived mild to moderate hearing impairment. The devices are developed to offer them levels of hearing amplification to help them in situational use.

A great comparison is prescription eyeglasses and over-the-counter ‘readers’. ‘Readers’ are a solution that help people that require a helping hand in certain situations but are not a full-time or long-term solution. Over-the-counter hearing aids will share a lot of similarities.

Man wearing hearing protection
OTC hearing aids in Sarasota, FL

Who Are Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids For?

Over-the-counter hearing aids will be for adults that have a mild-to-moderate hearing loss and struggle to hear in certain environments and would like some basic help/amplification.

They’re not a replacement for prescriptive hearing aids, but a solution for mild-to-moderate cases that require situational use for inactive lifestyles.

Who Are Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids For?

As a trusted team of hearing specialists, we naturally have some concerns with OTC hearing aids. Our biggest concern is that the guidelines do not require an adult to have a hearing test prior to purchasing these devices.

This results in two risks:

Risk 1

Firstly, a hearing loss is not the only reason why you may be struggling to hear. When conducting a hearing evaluation, we analyze your overall hearing health and often discover alternative reasons why you may be struggling to hear.

These can be as simple as a build-up of earwax that can be easily addressed, to a serious medical condition that requires immediate attention. Without having a hearing evaluation, you could be addressing something that is quickly fixable or worsening a medical concern.

Risk 2

Secondly, we’re concerned about the recommendation that over-the-counter devices are for people with a perceived mild-to-moderate hearing loss. As hearing loss often happens slowly and gradually, it’s almost impossible to know what level of hearing loss that you have until you have a hearing evaluation.

We often see people that walk through our door that believe that they have a mild hearing loss, only to discover that they have a severe hearing loss that requires immediate attention.

Over-the-counter hearing aids could be applying a band-aid to a more serious challenge by not requiring a hearing evaluation.

Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids Done Safely –
Our Approach to OTC

Our goal is to ensure that we provide the highest level of care and the best possible solutions for every patient.

In some instances, over-the-counter hearing aids will be the correct solution for some people, or, in other instances, they may be the entire wrong solution.

That’s why we’ve put hearing needs at the forefront to ensure you’re making the best possible decision.

OTC hearing aids

Our 3-Step Approach to Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids

STEP ONE

Comprehensive Hearing Evaluation

The first step is to have your hearing comprehensively tested to analyze your overall hearing health, review if you have any form of hearing loss, and to understand what your treatment options look like.

We may discover that you’re a perfect candidate for over-the-counter hearing aids, or we may discover that they would cause more harm than good.

However, this important first step ensures that you’re making the best possible decision for your long-term hearing health.

STEP TWO

Review Your Options

Based on the outcome of your hearing evaluation, we’ll be able to make recommendations to suit your exact needs.

If you’re a candidate for over-the-counter hearing aids, then we’ll introduce you to an array of the most popular and highest-rated solutions and support you in making the best possible decision.

STEP THREE

Professionally Fitted Rather than Self-Fitted

Our specialists will then professionally fit your over-the-counter hearing aids rather than you having to follow the self-fitting instructions This will ensure they fit your ears, are correctly tailored for your needs, and are connected to your cell phone with full instructions.

What Our Delighted Patients Say

Considering Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids? Schedule Your Appointment for a Hearing Evaluation

If you or a loved one are considering over-the-counter hearing aids and would like to ensure you prioritize your hearing health and that you’re a candidate, then please complete this form to schedule your appointment.

Don’t want to wait? Call us on (941) 922-5894

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