Just picture being able to toss a couple of hearing aids in your shopping cart alongside a dozen eggs, a carton of milk, and a loaf of bread. It’s true: over-the-counter or OTC hearing aids can now be purchased from a variety of national retailers! This is fantastic news for those who have faced obstacles and expensive prices to get these crucial devices, but there’s some important information to understand before acquiring your next pair of hearing aids.
Exactly How Much Do OTC Hearing Aids Cost?
In comparison to the $2,000 – $8,000+ price that prescription hearing aids carry, the OTC version can be acquired for as low as $199. Cost is dependent, however, on the model and features selected and may be much higher.
Who Is Able to Use OTC Hearing Aids?
Tens of millions of people can benefit from these hearing aids, which are intended primarily for adults having difficulties with mild to moderate hearing loss. If you answer “yes” to the following three questions, over-the-counter hearing aids may be right for your needs:
- Are you able to hear with ease in a person-to-person conversation in a quiet location?
- Do you only need a hearing aid in certain stressful situations, rather than most or all of the time?
- Are you able to hear the television or telephone better by just slightly turning up the volume?
With over-the-counter hearing aids, consumers are responsible for setting up the device, adjusting the fit, and tuning the sound.
Do I Need to Have an Appointment With an Audiologist Before Buying Hearing Aids Over the Counter?
The basic answer is “no,” but it really isn’t quite that simple. There are hearing tests that may be taken online or through an app on your phone, and since the aids do not require a prescription, technically, there’s no requirement to see the audiologist in order to purchase and use them. But an audiologist continues to be an incredibly important part of the hearing loss equation. They can perform a hearing test, establish the degree and type of hearing loss, and recommend the best type of hearing aid to get the most benefit. Most insurance providers as well as Medicare cover the cost for hearing tests, although prescription hearing aids are usually not covered. An audiologist also can pick up on other ear conditions that call for medical assistance.
With more than 37 million adults in the US living with some degree of hearing loss, and only 25% of them currently using a hearing aid, over-the-counter hearing aids are slated to bring relief to many, at a price that is more appealing.
If somebody you love is dealing with hearing loss, let an in-home care professional from Compassionate Nursing Services, an award-winning provider of home care in Des Peres and the surrounding communities, help. We’re on hand with a full array of customized in-home support services to help older adults continue to live on their own in the homes they love. Give us a call at 314-432-4312 for additional information!