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OTC hearing aids: Are they right for you? 

Best suited for healthy adults with mild to moderate hearing loss, over-the-counter hearing aids are an alternative to traditional prescription options. Wondering if you’re the ideal candidate? A hearing evaluation with one of our Hearing Care Professionals is the perfect place to start.

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Over-the-counter hearing aids

What are OTC hearing aids?

Over-the-counter hearing aids have become a viable option for many living with a mild to moderate level of hearing loss. OTC hearing aids require no visit to a Hearing Care Professional and can be directly purchased and self-fit by the you. While they generally cost less, OTC hearings aids are a one-size-fits-most option and are not custom fit to your specific ears.
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Where can I get OTC hearing aids?

OTC hearing aids can be purchased online or in store without any prior hearing evaluation or test. They’re available at major retail stores and some hearing care centers. Think of it like the non-prescription reading glasses you can buy at your local drug store. If you have a mild loss of sight and are looking for a little boost, they can often be helpful. Just remember that they’re not made specifically for you.

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Over-the-counter vs. prescription hearing aids

What's the difference?

When it comes to a hearing device that is specifically suited to your hearing loss level and lifestyle, nothing will beat prescription hearing aids. Together with a Hearing Care Professional, prescription hearing aids can be adapted, adjusted and maintained according to your individual needs. Over-the-counter hearing aids, on the other hand, are purchased and set up without the assistance of an expert. They are also limited in design and can’t address more severe cases of hearing loss.
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Finding your fit

From behind-the-ear and in-the-canal options to everything in between, when it comes to your hearing health, finding your perfect fit can make all the difference.
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Many different hearing aid types, sizes and form factors to suit your need
Choosing OTC

Are OTC hearing aids suitable for me? 

The lower cost and quick purchase options of OTC hearing aids can make them quite appealing, especially for those who have been hesitant to invest in hearing aids in the past. And for some, OTC hearing aids can be a great quick fix for mild hearing issues.

If these characteristics describe you, OTC may be a fitting option:
  • Over the age of 18 
  • No underlying medical conditions
  • Mild to moderate hearing loss
  • Semi-tech savvy to tech savvy
  • No history of chronic ear infections
Nevertheless, a proper hearing evaluation with one of our Hearing Care Professionals will always be the best way to understand your specific hearing needs. It can also help to prevent more serious, underlying issues from going unnoticed and ensure your cognitive and mental well-being aren’t affected by untreated hearing loss.

Over-the-counter hearing aids: FAQ

How do I know if OTC hearing aids are right for me?

Scheduling an appointment with a Hearing Care Professional is the best way to accurately determine your level of hearing loss and if OTC hearing aids are suitable for you. OTC hearing aids are best suited for adults over the age of 18 with mild to moderate hearing loss. If you have a history of ear infections or other underlying medical conditions, it’s best to speak with a Hearing Care Professional to determine if there may be other causes of your hearing loss or if prescription hearing aids are a better fit for you.

How much do OTC hearing aids cost?

The cost of OTC hearing aids can vary depending on several factors, including brand, features and where you purchase them. OTC hearing aids can range from several hundred dollars to several thousand.

What is the difference between OTC and prescription hearing aids?

Over-the-counter hearing aids can be purchased without any prior hearing examination. They can be purchased in retail stores or online, and are generally a one-size-fits-most option suitable for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss. Prescription hearing aids require a hearing evaluation from a Hearing Care Professional and can be adapted to the user’s specific needs, including custom-fitted designs and features.

Where can I get hearing aids over the counter?

Over-the-counter hearing aids can be purchased in major retail stores, online, and in some hearing care centers.

Which OTC hearing aid is best?

The best OTC hearing aid options will vary depending on the user’s lifestyle, hearing needs, and preferred style and features. Since OTC hearing aids are purchased without the assistance of a Hearing Care Professional, purchasing hearing aids with a good return policy is essential in case you purchase hearing aids that don’t properly suit your needs.

Are FDA approved OTC hearing aids available now?

Yes. As of October 17, 2022, hearing aids approved by the FDA are now available at major retail stores, online and in some hearing care centers.

Are over the counter hearing aids worth it?

The usefulness of OTC hearing aids depends on your individual hearing needs. If you are an adult living with mild to moderate hearing loss, over-the-counter hearing aids may be a suitable option for you. However, consulting with a Hearing Care Professional and having a proper hearing evaluation conducted is the best way to determine if OTC hearing aids will benefit you.

Can I buy a hearing aid without a prescription?

It is possible to purchase hearing aids over the counter without the assistance of any Hearing Care Professional or prior hearing evaluation. If you are an adult with mild to moderate hearing loss, purchasing hearing aids directly from a retail store or hearing care center may be a suitable option for you. However, a proper hearing evaluation is the best way to determine if you should purchase hearing aids yourself or with the assistance of a Hearing Care Professional.

Can I buy a hearing aid without an audiologist?

With over-the-counter hearing aids available, it is possible to purchase hearing aids without the guidance of a Hearing Care Professional. Nevertheless, a thorough hearing evaluation is the best way to determine if OTC hearing aids are a suitable option for you or if your hearing needs require a more custom approach with assistance from a Hearing Care Professional.

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