Are Over The Counter Hearing Aids Right For You?
Up until now, the FDA had only approved hearing aids that were built to be fit and adjusted by a healthcare provider. For the first time ever, they just approved a device created by BOSE that the user is able to fit, then adjust in real real-time from a mobile app. This approval will allow for a more affordable device to land in the hands of end users who can then adjust them as needed on the go. They work by recording sounds with multiple microphones, they then immediately process, amplify, and play the sound back into the ear canal.
According to the CDC, as many as 37 million Americans admit to some kind of hearing trouble ranging from “a little trouble”, to “Deaf”(1). In order to treat these symptoms, many use hearing aids to amplify sounds and improve their hearing. Here is more info on Over The Counter hearing aids and how they could benefit you or a loved one.
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“Hearing loss is a significant public health issue, especially as individuals age,” said Malvina Eydelman, M.D., director of the Division of Ophthalmic, and Ear, Nose, and Throat Devices at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “Today’s marketing authorization provides certain patients with access to a new hearing aid that provides them with direct control over the fit and functionality of the device. The FDA is committed to ensuring that individuals with hearing loss have options for taking an active role in their health care.”
In the past hearing ads were a large, bulky device that many people with a slight hearing loss would often avoid using if only for cosmetic reasons. Now, hearing aids are available that hide completely inside your ear canal, Rendering them basically invisible to the naked eye while providing the user with crystal clear hearing.
This new user-controlled hearing aid was made possible through a law passed last year that approved over-the-counter hearing aids(2). It aims to provide adults with mild to moderate hearing loss access to hearing aids without them having to go through a physician first to diagnose and fir them. Potentially allowing them to save hundreds or thousands of dollars in doctor visits and (or) missed work in the process.
- OTC hearing aids will use “same fundamental scientific technology as […] hearing aids”
- OTC hearing aids will be “available over-the-counter, without the supervision, prescription, or other order, involvement, or intervention of a licensed person, to consumers through in-person transactions, by mail, or online.”
- They will be for adults only (18+ years old)
- They will provide adequate amplification for mild-to-moderate hearing loss
- The user will be able to control their OTC hearing aids and customize them as they see fit
- OTC hearing aids may include self-assessment tests
- OTC hearing aids may include wireless technologies
Could a hearing aid help you? The first step is getting more information to understand what kinds are available, what is best suited for your needs, and which you would be most interested in, so don’t delay. Start Your Search Today.
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Source: (1)FDA (2) https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/2430