It’s official—the FDA has approved over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids! So, what does this mean? The World Health Organization estimates that by 2050 nearly 2.5 billion people will have some degree of hearing loss. For anyone currently experiencing mild-to-moderate hearing loss (and, as a 34-year-old, I’m actually in that category) it’s a big deal.
OTC hearing aids will be available in stores on October 17th, and while we have much to learn about the quality and affordability of these products, we expect the change to make better hearing accessible to a wider population.
How will pricing compare to prescribed hearing aids?
OTC hearing aids were designed to help people with mild-to-moderate hearing loss. You may have mild-to-moderate hearing loss if:
If your symptoms go beyond the ones described above—for example, if you struggle to hear in a quiet environment—it would be wise to speak with a hearing care professional. Learn more about how Medicare coverage for hearing aids works here.
When shopping for a pair of OTC hearing aids, Uncle Sam recommends asking the following questions:
I’ll update this article as we receive more questions and learn more about this exciting healthcare development!