Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids For Hearing Impaired People

Over-the-Counter hearing aids are hearing machines for hearing impaired adults purchased online or directly from the retailer by consumers. OTC Hearing aids provide relief to individuals with mild to moderate hearing impairment. However, we all know hearing machines are very expensive.

An average hearing aid cost more than $2000. Medicare and other health insurance also don’t cover hearing devices. Therefore, keeping in mind the interest and expensive cost of hearing aids the US government has taken a step forward. The U.S Senate had already passed the Over-the-counter Act of 2017. On July 12 the bill was passed by the house of representatives.

The Hearing Loss Association of America(HLAA) also approved Over-the-counter hearing act.  However, the Food and Drug Administration-regulated Over-the-counter hearing aids are not available at present for the consumers. But consumers need to wait for some time for their OTC hearing devices. OTC hearing aid is a new term for most of the hearing impaired people.

Therefore, some of the important questions which come to the mind of hearing impaired individual are-

What is Over-the-counter hearing aids?

Is it Important to get hearing checked?

Are OTC hearing Aids Better?

Why is it important to consult audiologist?

Is there any difference in cost?

What is Over-the-counter hearing aids?

People spent hundreds of dollars on their hearing impairment and bought PSAP(personal sound amplification device). For normal hearing people, PSAP is a sound amplification device. Whereas Over-the-counter hearing devices are PSAP but with FDA approval.

OTC hearing devices will be digital hearing devices with all the hearing device technology such as wireless, Bluetooth, and directional microphones etc. But the average price of OTC hearing machine will be 1000$ compared to 2000$ of a PSAP.

OTC hearing device will be sold directly to the buyers rather than buying from hearing aid dispenser. There is also no need to consult an audiologist for buying an OTC hearing machine. OTC hearing aids are not available for people with severe hearing loss. However, all the online retailers will ask for an audiogram before selling any kind of hearing machine to the consumer.

Is it Important to get hearing checked?

If you are experiencing any kind of deafness then stop waiting for OTC hearing aid. There is no particular time period, no one know when the FDA approved OTA hearing devices will be available in the market. Professionals suggest that in case you are having any kind of hearing difficulty, consult an audiologist. And take a hearing test on the advice of hearing care professional.

In case the hearing impairment is left untreated then the probability of other difficulties arises such as Anxiety, depression,  loneliness and lack of confidence. Everyone should get immediate treatment for hearing loss.

Are OTC hearing Aids Better?

For millions of Americans, OTC  hearing devices will come in the form of low-cost hearing technology. OTC hearing machines only are available for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss. Individuals with a severe hearing loss would not be able to use OTC hearing devices.

There is a probability that the cost of all the hearing machines can get reduce because of the OTC hearing low-cost prices. All the hearing impaired people will get benefit from these affordable prices.

Today, every one of us in search of discounts considers online purchasing of hearing the machine. Some of us also search online for the diagnosis of their hearing loss and its treatment. However, it is very important to consult a hearing care professional or an audiologist before buying any kind of hearing aid. Because a wrong diagnosis can even make your hearing loss condition worse rather than improving it.

Why is it important to consult audiologist?

An audiologist is a qualified professional who not only provides the hearing device. But also diagnose your hearing loss and also provide required treatment. These professional constantly attend training workshops to keep them updated on latest hearing related treatments and recent hearing devices.

In some of the cases, if the hearing loss remains untreated or not treated properly then it can link to other health conditions. Some of the other health conditions are Cognitive Decline, Diabetes, Depression, Cardiovascular disease and Kidney Disease.

There are some other causes of hearing impairment such as Meiner’s disease, Acoustic neuroma, Presbycusis, perforated eardrum and Ototoxic drugs.

Read more:- 10 Diseases and Medical conditions that cause hearing loss

Most of the population use online help to diagnose medical conditions including hearing loss. It is rightly said that”Taking information from the internet is like having a drink from a fire pump”. Purchasing hearing device over the internet adds a disadvantage for the consumers as they are not buying from a trained source. Moreover, people are not even getting proper guidance in terms of the functions such as volume control or power controls.

The Hearing Industries Association(HIA) recommended that the only those people get OTC hearing devices who have the mild hearing loss. Even HIA suggested FDA to specifically set the standards high for OTA hearing machines.

Is there any difference in cost?

People can buy Over-the-counter hearing aids at low prices compared to the other hearing machines. Other hearing machines are expensive because they involve the cost of manufacture and warranty which includes services such as cleaning, repairs, and other adjustments. One can’t predict the cost of OTC hearing devices because still FDA is in the process of deciding the cost.

Cost is not the only factor responsible for opting for OTC hearing machines. These hearing devices will help hearing impaired individuals who go through social isolation, embarrassments, relational stress and negative workplace outcomes.

There are some countries where government provide subsidies on hearing devices. In some of the countries, hearing machines are available free of cost such as India. In India under “Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojna” all the senior citizens will receive free hearing machines. With the vision to provide assistance for hearing impaired people Over-the-counter hearing aids are introduced.

Before purchasing any kind of hearing aid always consult the health professional first. It is very important to know about all the factors causing you hearing impairment prior to using any kind of hearing machine.

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