Beginning in October of 2022, regulations were enacted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to improve access to hearing aids for tens of millions of Americans with mild to moderate hearing loss. This final rule created a new category of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids. Prior to this, all hearing aids were classified as medical devices and required a prescription. Within the new rules, an over-the-counter (OTC) solution has been introduced which keeps the medical device classification but removes the prescription and aims to alleviate the shocking number of people in the US that qualify for hearing aids but do not own them. People with severe hearing loss should still seek the assistance of a medical professional for prescription hearing aids. However, the vast majority of us - that find ourselves straining to hear our partner in a crowded restaurant - can now purchase an over-the-counter solution.
The new regulations sought to mitigate the inordinate amount of Americans with perceived mild to moderate hearing loss that have previously avoided prescription aids. You may now be asking yourself what “perceived” mild to moderate hearing loss actually means. The basic principle is that if you notice that you have trouble hearing where you used to be able to hear fine, or when others are able to hear without issue, you can effectively “perceive” your own hearing loss. The volume level on your TV or car stereo are the common examples used to describe perceived hearing loss. If you find yourself turning the volume up more than you used to, you may want to take our online hearing test! The goal of this new OTC market is to simplify the process for people to augment mild and moderate hearing loss at a reasonable price.
Previously, there were two major barriers to entry into hearing aids; the cost of a quality aid and the hassle of going somewhere to be tested and subsequently fit for hearing aids. For many people that have trouble following conversations in a noisy area, in a group setting, or when the person speaking is not in your line of sight, the prospect of augmenting their hearing was not worth the time and or money of prescription aids. Prescription aids can cost thousands of dollars and can be a costly investment if you can just turn the TV up a bit more. Additionally, setting up an appointment, taking time off work, sitting in a waiting room, and all the other fun stuff that goes along with medical appointments can seem just daunting enough for most people to avoid the situation entirely. By offering OTC hearing aids online with fast shipping, hassle free return policy and very reasonable prices, we’re aiming to remove that reticence and equip our customers with cost-effective hearing aids that improve their quality of life.
Over-the-counter, or OTC, hearing aids are now available in the US to people over the age of 18 with mild to moderate hearing loss. OTC aids can be purchased conveniently online and are considerably more affordable than their prescription counterparts. Check out our growing list of products here and stay tuned to our newsletter as more and more hearing aids are added to this growing market!