Just picture being able to toss a pair of hearing aids in your shopping cart along with a dozen eggs, a carton of milk, and a loaf of bread. It’s true: over-the-counter or OTC hearing devices are now available from a variety of major retailers! This is great news for anyone who has faced red tape and excessive costs to get these vital devices, but there’s some important information to understand prior to purchasing your next pair of hearing aids.
How Much Do OTC Hearing Devices Cost?
Compared to the $2,000 – $8,000+ price on prescription hearing aids, the over-the-counter models are available for as little as $199. Price depends, however, on the model and features chosen, and may be more expensive.
Who Can Use Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids?
Tens of millions of people can benefit from these hearing aids, which are meant primarily for adults having difficulties with mild to moderate hearing loss. If you answer “yes” to the questions below, OTC hearing aids may be ideal for you:
- Are you able to hear with ease in a one-on-one conversation in a quiet setting?
- Would you only require a hearing aid in certain overwhelming situations, as opposed to most or all of the time?
- Are you able to hear the television or telephone better just by slightly turning up the volume?
Keep in mind, with over-the-counter hearing aids, consumers are responsible for setting up the device, including fitting and tuning the sound.
Do I Need to See an Audiologist Before Purchasing OTC Hearing Devices?
The straightforward answer is “no,” but it really isn’t quite that simple. There are basic hearing tests that can be taken online or through an app on your phone, and due to the fact the aids don’t need a prescription, technically, there’s no requirement to see the audiologist to be able to purchase and use them. But an audiologist continues to be an incredibly important part of the hearing loss puzzle. They are able to conduct a hearing test, establish the degree and kind of hearing loss, and suggest the best kind of hearing aid to get the most benefit. Most insurance providers as well as Medicare cover the cost for hearing tests, even though prescription hearing aids are generally not covered. An audiologist may also pick up on other ear conditions that need medical attention and can recommend steps to take to maintain healthy hearing.
With more than 37 million adults in the US struggling with some amount of hearing loss, and only 25% of them currently using a hearing aid, OTC hearing aids are slated to bring relief to many people, at a cost that’s more attractive.
If a person you love is struggling with hearing loss, let a home health care expert from Morning Glory Home Care, a trusted provider of senior care in Belleville, IL and the surrounding areas, help. We are on hand with a complete selection of customized in-home care services to help older adults continue to live on their own in the homes they love. Contact us at 618-667-8400 for more information!