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Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid

affordable hearing solutions OTC hearing aids

Unlocking Affordable Hearing Solutions: The Power of Over-the-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aids

September 14, 2023

Affordable Hearing Solutions: OTC Hearing Aids at Your Local Audiology Clinic

At Hears to U, we understand that hearing healthcare is not one-size-fits-all. People come to us with various needs, from earwax removal to addressing their hearing challenges. We take pride in offering a wide range of hearing solutions, including over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids for those who seek an affordable and convenient option. While not all audiologists endorse OTC hearing aids, we do at Hears Hearing & Hearables in Hopkins, Minnesota. In this blog post, we’ll explore the world of OTC hearing aids, what they entail, and how they can provide a valuable solution for individuals like “Anne”.

What Are OTC Hearing Aids?

OTC hearing aids are a game-changer in the world of audiology. They are essentially hearing aids that you can purchase without a prescription, without any help from a professional. Thus, saving on professional service fees. This means you can visit a local store that stocks OTC hearing aids, buy one, and set it up yourself to cater to your specific hearing needs. Most OTC hearing aids come equipped with a companion app that helps you personalize your hearing experience. Here’s how it typically works:

1. Purchase:   You buy the OTC hearing aid box from an authorized retailer, like your local audiologist.  You may also purchase from other stores like Best Buy.  We of course prefer that you buy it from someone who understands ears and hearing like us audiologists. 🙂

2. Registration:   As you begin to set up your hearing aid with your app, the app actually registers your OTC hearing aid with the brand of your hearing aids, like Jabra.  These hearing aids often provide you with a one-year warranty.

3. Hearing Profile: Through the app, you conduct a hearing profile test, which is akin to a diagnostic hearing test. This test in the app reports to be calibrated to provide good data for your hearing needs.  The hearing aid is then set to your unique hearing thresholds.

4. Customization: The app allows you to fine-tune your hearing aid settings, ensuring it caters to your specific hearing loss profile.

Are OTC Hearing Aids Right for You?

OTC hearing aids are typically designed for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss. They are not suitable for moderate or more severe hearing loss. However, they offer an affordable alternative to professionally fit, more expensive hearing aids.  You can wear them all the time, however, they are meant to wear when you need them, such as in a noisy environment.

Consider “Anne’s” story as an example. Anne had a hearing test that revealed a steep hearing loss beyond 4000 Hz. A range where professionally fit hearing aids often do not help as the receiver doesn’t extend to higher frequencies. Her previous visit to another audiology clinic resulted in a recommendation for a $6000 hearing aid pair. However, Anne didn’t want to invest so much money for occasional use hearing challenges. After visiting Hears to U, we determined that an OTC hearing aid would be ideal for her needs.

Anne’s OTC Hearing Aid Experience

We sat down with Anne and went over what she wanted the solution to be and look like.  Anne chose an OTC hearing aid that fits discreetly in her ear canal, providing her with a comfortable and nearly invisible hearing solution.  We call this type of solution a completely-in-the-canal hearing aid that was once a Signia hearing aid and was now rebranded as a Sony OTC.

She felt that it would be a bit overwhelming to set up her device even though she knows how to use smartphone apps and owns an iPhone, she wanted our service to help her.  We shared that we charge a small service fee to help choose and set up her new device that she purchased right here over the counter.  At Hears to U, we will always offer additional assistance for setting up OTC hearing aids, ensuring our clients have peace of mind in using and maintaining them.

In any case, the process went smoothly and she liked the sound and fit of the Sony aids.  We looked in her ear with an otoscope helping her pick the size of the dome. We showed her how to change the domes, and how to clean the aids and then we went through the setup with her on the phone.

The total cost for Anne’s OTC hearing aid, including our assistance, was around $1000. This provided her with a cost-effective solution tailored to her needs and specific environments, such as her restaurant enjoyment.

Embracing OTC Hearing Aids at Hears to U

We understand that not everyone requires a high-end, professionally fitted hearing aid. OTC hearing aids are akin to reading glasses for your ears – they offer a simple and effective solution for those with mild to moderate hearing loss. At Hears to U, Hearing & Hearables, we believe in providing options that suit your individual needs and budget.

OTC hearing aids are changing the landscape of hearing healthcare by offering affordable and accessible solutions. If you’re looking for an OTC hearing aid near you, whether in-store or online, consider visiting Hears to U, Hears Hearing & Hearables. We’re here to help you hear better within the budget that you feel best fits your needs.  We can help you determine that and set your expectations for the solution you purchase.

Cheers to better hearing!

Best Hearing aids over the counter

Navigating Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids, Amidst the Internet’s Paid Ads

August 22, 2023

Exploring Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids: Striving for the Ideal Match or Uncovering the Optimal Choice?

In today’s technologically driven world, the sweet strains of convenience play a major role. Amidst this racket, hearing aids have taken center stage, hoping to provide more affordable devices for those with mild to moderate hearing loss. These powerful yet diminutive devices have seamlessly woven themselves through time. Bridging the gap between the world of sound and those yearning to experience it. Read along as we discuss history’s trumpets, where the evolution of hearing aids meets the contemporary law of over-the-counter glory.

Historical Prelude: Hearing Through Time or is it Hearing Loss Through Time

Hearing aids boast a rich history, akin to the layers of timeless trumpets and body-worn hearing aids. Tracing back through centuries, from rudimentary ear trumpets to sleek, modern devices, these auditory companions have orchestrated a remarkable evolution. Who could have predicted that the antiquated ear trumpet would one day give rise to such technology in hearing aids. Now the FDA can even sell and regulate them over the counter?! These hearing aids seamlessly intertwine with our lives, or for those who want to hear better.

Technology and Time of Adaptation: Hearing aids were fit only by Licensed professionals

In the recent past, not more than a year ago, the process of fitting a hearing aid often evoked feelings of stress and financial concern, coupled with a notable lack of transparency. Seasoned professionals skillfully led the delicate interplay between cutting-edge technology and the nuanced acoustics inherent to each individual’s ear, therefore bringing it to fruition. A license stood as the threshold to this process, attesting to the stringent precision, skillful craftsmanship, and individualized attention it necessitated.

The Overture of Accessibility:  Hearing aids sold over the counter

However, an entrancing twist awaited in 2017, 2019, and finally 2022, the overture of this narrative. Behold, the hearing aid that you can buy without the professional fit. A movement that empowers individuals to tune into life’s networks of communication without a professional Audiologist. Driven by technological advancements and the clarion call of consumer demand, a stage was set for accessibility, affordability, and self-empowerment.

Choices: Over-the-counter brands of hearing aids do not have a “best of” despite what you may read

Much like a skilled ensemble of professionals, the domain of hearing aids over the counter presents an array of options. Amidst this landscape on the internet, it appears that only four notable brands – Jabra, MD Hearing, Lexie Hearing Aids, and Audicus – emerge as leaders. As a professional and a person that works in this field, we know differently.  It frustrates us professionals to no end that the hearing aid that has the most money in marketing will appear to be the best you can find. 

Navigating Your Options

The person searching for hearing aids over the counter will find more information on Jabra, Audicus, and even Eargo as the best aids and brands center stage. Yet, akin to the diverse preferences in music, hearing needs are individualistic. The true luminary is the hearing aid that matches your unique auditory requirements, lifestyle, and financial plan is the best.  Imagine that not everyone likes chocolate chip ice cream like I do.  People have all kinds of different flavors. And is Ben and Jerry’s the best?  True in the case the Ben and Jerry’s is yummy but so is Kemps and Cold Stone Creamery brand.

What do we make of all this Advertising: Navigating Paid Ads

Amidst this racket of internet fun and more searches and “research”, a curious note arises – the impact of paid advertisement. Paid ads capture attention and are seen over and over again, just like a sharp tone. These paid ads on websites of various kinds highlight specific brand offerings.  Sadly people believe that what they see they believe.

In an era where the internet is a vast repository of information, it’s crucial to approach its offerings with a discerning eye. While it’s a treasure trove of knowledge, not everything you find online is reliable or accurate.

Case in point: the realm of hearing aids. With countless websites, forums, and advertisements touting the best over-the-counter hearing aids, it’s easy to fall prey to biased recommendations or paid promotions. For instance, a quick online search for “top” or “Best” over-the-counter hearing aids might yield similar list by list of supposed champions, but it’s important to remember that these rankings can be influenced by money and thus paid ads or hidden agendas. Therefore, what truly matters is finding a hearing aid that aligns with your specific needs, preferences, and lifestyle. It’s a reminder that while the internet can be an invaluable tool, approaching it with a healthy dose of skepticism and seeking expert advice can help you navigate through the noise and make informed decisions, especially in critical matters like your hearing health. 

Celebrate Individual Soundscapes

Though society often applauds a “Top 4” or “Top 10,” the true best of your hearing journey is within your preferences. Your unique hearing narrative and the auditory landscapes of your world converge to create a personal opus of choice. However, a hearing aid isn’t solely a tool. It’s a part of you (at least that is what one of my patients told me).  

Our Professional Assistance

In a world resonating with individual preferences and experiences, we extend an invitation. We believe that audiologists ought to be the professionals helping you choose the hearing aid that fits your ears best with your preference and degree of hearing loss.  Seeking guidance in finding your auditory companion? We’re here not to dictate but to listen and present your choices. Whether embracing the over-the-counter serenade or a professionally fit prescription, our mission is to ensure you find a solution that harmonizes with your world.

In my audiology professional closing remarks, remember that the ultimate over-the-counter hearing aid isn’t confined to a “Top 4” or any numbered list. It’s a personal journey, a list of wants, and needs for choices where your preferences, budget, and requirements come together for an obvious choice (or two). Embrace the abundance of options! There’s no need to fall victim to being sold what they want you to buy, not the best hearing aids.  I promise you, there is no research saying one or the other hearing aid is the best.  It is all ads, smoke, mirror, and money talking.  Trust your professionals and small businesses.  We are “hear” for you!  Hehe

otoTune app for Sontro OTC Hearing Aids

Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids: Accessibility, Affordability, and Autonomy in Hearing Solutions

February 27, 2023

Accessibility and Affordability: Key Pillars for Modern Hearing Aids.

Over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids are revolutionizing auditory assistance. They offer a more accessible, affordable solution for hearing loss. Now, these aids are available on various online platforms. They are transforming the hearing care industry. Thus, they present new opportunities for individuals to improve auditory health.

 

Can You Buy Hearing Aids Over The Counter?

Yes, you can buy hearing aids over-the-counter (OTC). They don’t need a prescription or professional fitting. They prioritize user accessibility, available online and in stores. Traditional hearing aid costs and accessibility issues led to the decision for OTC alternatives. Early hearing loss intervention also gives better results, research shows. Conventionally, hearing aids required visits to audiologists, hearing tests, and fitting sessions. These steps could be costly, time-consuming, and often inaccessible. However, OTC hearing aids help break down these barriers. They enable direct device access, bypassing these hurdles.

What Is The Difference Between OTC Hearing Aids And Traditional Hearing Aids?

While both over-the-counter and traditional hearing aids serve the same purpose – to aid those with hearing loss – the process of acquisition and utilization significantly differs.

Traditional hearing aids are prescribed by audiologists following thorough hearing evaluations. Professionals custom-fit and adjust these devices to meet the individual’s hearing needs, using their audiogram – a graphical representation of their hearing ability. Regular follow-ups guarantee optimal performance of the hearing aids, with necessary adjustments made over time. The audiologist also validates that the hearing aid performs its intended function using best practices and real ear measurements. This personalized approach can lead to more precise assistance for specific hearing losses. Often it can come with a considerable cost. We are not saying it isn’t worth it but perhaps a lower cost is needed for those on a budget or if you have a mild need.

Over-the-counter hearing aids, however, are designed for a more general population. They are often pre-set to accommodate the most common forms of hearing loss – typically mild to moderate high-frequency hearing loss. OTC hearing aids allow users to adjust the settings themselves, with some advanced models even capable of conducting a basic hearing test and adjusting the device’s settings accordingly.

What Is A Self-Fitting OTC Hearing Aid?

Self-fitting OTC hearing aids let users adjust sound levels themselves. They’re a type of over-the-counter hearing aid. Often, they come with a smartphone app or on-device controls for a basic hearing test. This data helps calibrate device settings for personalization without professional intervention. However, the user should understand their auditory needs and follow instructions well. Being technically savvy is also recommended.

 

Do Cheap In-Ear Hearing Aids Work?

The user’s specific hearing needs, the device’s quality, and the accuracy of its fitting or adjustment largely determine the effectiveness of hearing aids, regardless of whether they are cheap or expensive.

Cheap in-ear hearing aids, often found on various online platforms, may work for some individuals, particularly those with mild to moderate hearing loss. They can amplify sound and potentially improve the user’s ability to hear in quiet environments. However, these cheaper options may lack some of the advanced features found in more expensive models, like noise reduction, directional microphones, or high-quality digital sound processing. Some of these cheaper in-the-ear hearing aids that you can find online and in places like Amazon can actually hurt your ears if you are not careful. Such as making loud sounds louder and damaging your hearing more.

It’s important to remember that the cost of a hearing aid doesn’t always reflect its effectiveness for a particular individual. Factors such as the degree and type of hearing loss, the individual’s lifestyle, and their comfort with the device’s controls also play crucial roles.

 

Can I Buy A Hearing Aid Myself?

Yes, you can. The advent of over-the-counter hearing aids and the availability of these devices on online platforms have made it possible for individuals to purchase hearing aids directly. This autonomy in purchasing hearing aids allows users to explore a range of devices, compare prices, and choose the one best suited to their needs.

However, buying a hearing aid yourself also carries certain responsibilities. It requires an understanding of your hearing needs and how to adjust the device accordingly. Some users may find it challenging to correctly configure their hearing aids, and improperly adjusted devices may not provide the optimal assistance required.

If you are considering buying a hearing aid yourself, it’s recommended to get your hearing checked by a healthcare professional first. A comprehensive understanding of your hearing abilities will allow you to make a more informed decision about the most suitable hearing aid for you. Click here to start shopping OTC Hearing Aids.

 

In Conclusion:

Over-the-counter hearing aids mark a significant step towards making hearing assistance more accessible and affordable. They offer individuals with hearing loss the possibility of taking charge of their hearing health and choosing a device that suits their needs and budget.

These devices offer more autonomy, but users must understand their hearing needs well. They should be able to adjust the device optimally. We still suggest visiting a hearing healthcare professional for a thorough hearing check. This is especially important for severe hearing loss or if you’re new to hearing aids. Keep in mind, the guidelines for these OTC hearing aids cater specifically to individuals with mild to mild-moderate hearing loss.

In a rapidly advancing technological era, over-the-counter hearing aids could be the key to bridging the gap between those with hearing loss and the hearing aid solutions they need. As they continue to evolve and improve, OTC hearing aids promise to reshape the landscape of hearing healthcare, making it a more accessible realm for all.

Don’t forget that you do need to consult with a professional. Especially if you feel any discomfort, pain, loudness or even plugging. More information on these topics later. Thanks for reading.

Over the Counter Hearing aids are inexpensive and affordable

Hearing Aids Over The Counter – The Ins and Outs

February 27, 2023

A Primer on Over-the-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aids:

Millions of people worldwide face hearing loss, a common condition that hampers effective communication and enjoyment of daily activities. Until last year, the only recourse for these individuals was to buy professionally fitted hearing aids with prescriptions and fittings from a licensed audiologist. Now, they can purchase over-the-counter hearing aids designed for mild to moderate hearing loss. This article explains over-the-counter hearing aids, their working, their pros, and cons compared to professionally fitted devices, choosing the right size and type, acclimatization tips for a new device, typical problems with over-the-counter hearing aids, and essential maintenance tips to keep the device in good condition.

Understanding Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids and Their Working:

Over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids, pre-programmed for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss, are typically smaller, less expensive, and easier to acquire than professionally fitted devices. Like traditional hearing aids, they use tiny microphones to capture, amplify, and deliver sound to the ear, often featuring adjustable volume controls for different sound environments.

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids:

The cost savings of OTC hearing aids is a significant advantage. Being less expensive and readily available without prescriptions or fittings, they may serve as a feasible option for people who cannot afford traditional hearing aids. However, OTC hearing aids might not effectively serve users with severe hearing loss or complex hearing needs. And unlike professional audiologists, OTC hearing aids can’t offer personalized adjustments and counseling services.

Choosing the Right Size and Type of Hearing Aid:

Consulting a professional audiologist is crucial to select the right type of hearing aid. They can evaluate your hearing needs and help determine the suitable type and size of hearing aid. If opting for an OTC device, ensure its size and shape fit comfortably in your ear. Some OTC devices offer customization for your specific needs through online hearing tests.

Tips for Acclimating to Your New Device:

Adjusting to a hearing aid takes time, so be patient. Gradually extend usage time each day until you comfortably wear the hearing aid all day. Remember, hearing aids don’t cure hearing loss, so keep your expectations realistic. Practice good communication habits by speaking clearly, facing the person you’re talking to, and asking them to speak louder if necessary.

Common Issues with Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids:

OTC hearing aids may have issues like poor sound quality, difficulty in speech recognition, discomfort due to ill-fitting devices, difficulty with background noise, feedback, earwax buildup, and dead batteries.

Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Device in Good Condition:

Regular maintenance is crucial for the device’s proper function. Clean your hearing aid daily with a soft, dry cloth, avoid water that can damage the device, regularly remove earwax buildup from the earpiece, and store batteries in a cool, dry place.

Over-the-counter hearing aids serve as an excellent option for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss, given their lower costs and greater availability compared to professionally fitted devices. But they may not suit those with complex needs. Those considering OTC hearing aids should consult an audiologist, choose the right device, practice good communication habits, and properly maintain the device. So, weigh the pros and cons before making your final decision. At Hears Hearing & Hearables, we’re ready to assist with your decision. Call us now.

Sony in the ear hearing aid rechargeable

A great choice for an OTC Hearing Aid – Sony and WSA Audiology help with a Solution

December 11, 2022

What is the Sony OTC Hearing Aid Ordeal:

Sony and hearing health giant WS Audiology (makers of Widex and Signia hearing aids) teamed up to create two OTC hearing aid products. Sony’s smaller CRE-C10 devices are nearing invisible but do not offer Bluetooth streaming or rechargeable batteries.  CRE-E10 is larger and more visible in the ear but comes with rechargeable batteries that allow 26 hours of continuous use and Bluetooth streaming from iOS devices.  Both are self-fit using the Sony Hearing Control app.  Sony offers directionality, a Speech/Noise management system, and a program to guard against sudden loud impact noises.  According to the Sony website:  “To return the self-fitting OTC hearing aid, please refer to the place of purchase.  For purchases from Sony, returns may be made with 45 days with proof of purchase.”  Sony offers a limited 1-year warranty.

Information on Sony CRE-C10 – OTC Hearing Aid

Hearing Loss, Over the Counter Hearing Aid
Completely in the ear hearing aid, invisible

This model uses a size 10 disposable battery that offers over 70 hours of continuous wear.  It has prescription-level sound quality and can be customized using a hearing assessment via the Sony Hearing Control app.  Customers can also use the app to change the volume and make sound quality adjustments.

Designed for people with mild to moderate hearing loss.  Maybe the device is for you if you are looking for a small, discreet hearing solution with similar technology found in a basic modern hearing aid including noise reduction, automatic sound adjustments based on your listening environment, and some app-based controls.

Information on Sony CRE-E10 – OTC Hearing Aid

Sony over the counter hearing aid
Fits with little click sleeves to hold in your ear

This model is larger and more visible but comes with rechargeable batteries that allow 26 hours of continuous use and Bluetooth streaming from iOS devices (Apple iPhone).  The aids come with a recharging case and various domes meant to fit every kind of ear.

Designed for people with mild to mild- moderate hearing loss.  The goal is to provide a simple, app-enabled, DIY solution that can allow for a better hearing experience.  The device is ready to use right away by following the set-up instructions.  The simple app connects each device to the user’s smartphone to personalize settings.  The app enables the wearer to “self-fit”.  The models are easily adaptable to provide an authentic, connected sound experience.

We think these are good choices because they can also be sold as a professionally fit hearing aid, although for much more money.

Thanks for reading.

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TruHearing, Over-the-Counter Hearing aids

Why Not Try a Self-Fit OTC Hearing aid

December 7, 2022

Self-Fit Hearing Aids are More Affordable and if follow the directions, Safe. 

My patients in Minnesota often share that they are worried about how our little brick-and-mortar clinic is doing now that the legislation and FDA have passed guidelines (including safety) for the Self-fit Over-the-Counter (OTC) Hearing aid.  Yes, Self-fit OTC hearing aids are now here and in our online store!

I am happy that there are now regulations on these hearing aids that have been sold online but are not really hearing aids, but amplifiers.  Anyway, an OTC hearing aid is much more affordable than one fit specifically for you from a licensed professional. OTC hearing aids are easily accessible for the entry-level consumer.   It is important for you, the consumer, to know that this product was created to allow those with mild to mild-moderate hearing loss is a way to address that loss more quickly.   Some patients have waited a decade or more before seeking help.

Let’s make it work for you.  As I write this today, there are at least 5 self-fit OTC hearing aids on the market that are reputable products.  We don’t have a favorite one and hope over time you will share with us what you like about the one you tried.

Try one, try two; see if they are helpful.  All our products have a two-week return and some of the OTC hearing aids have a 30-day return.  If it doesn’t work, try another.  I wish we had demos for you to try but we don’t. The most you will lose is a little shipping and restocking fees.  If it works for what you need, it is a win-win.

Please note that OTC hearing aids are designed for you to set up yourself.  If you can’t, we are here to help you.  There are also Audiologists that can help you.  We, as a part of the health community, are excited to see how this new product category will change the landscape of hearing health.

Feel free to take our Online Hearing Handicap Screening Test.  We will use that tool to help you pick out a solution.

Thanks for shopping with us.  We truly appreciate you.  Kim

Sony OTC Hearing Aid E10 rechargeable and bluetooth compatible over the counter hearing aid for mild to moderate hearing loss
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Over the Counter Hearing aids inexpensive

What is the difference between an OTC hearing aid and a regular hearing aid?

October 27, 2022

If you’re exploring hearing aid options, you’ve likely encountered Over-the-Counter (OTC) devices. OTC hearing aids are gaining popularity among individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss who seek an affordable and less time-consuming alternative to prescription devices. But how do they differ from traditional, prescription hearing aids? This blog post aims to clarify these differences by examining the features, performance, cost, availability, convenience, and more of both types of devices. If you wish to make an informed decision about your auditory healthcare needs, read on!

Understanding Over-the-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aids

OTC hearing aids serve as a convenient and cost-effective solution for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss. You don’t need a prescription or a visit to an audiologist to access these devices. OTC hearing aids boast user-friendly designs, allowing wearers to adjust volume and settings independently. These aids may not suit those with moderate or severe hearing loss, but they provide a cost-efficient option for improving hearing. Advances in technology have even enabled OTC hearing aids to offer features like noise reduction and Bluetooth connectivity, which were previously exclusive to traditional hearing aids. Always consult your doctor or audiologist before purchasing an over-the-counter hearing aid to ensure it suits your specific needs.

Differences Between OTC Hearing Aids and Regular Hearing Aids

As hearing loss becomes increasingly common, so do the corrective options. People can now choose between prescription hearing aids and OTC options. Prescription hearing aids necessitate a visit to the audiologist and can come with a hefty price tag, whereas you can buy OTC hearing aids at a lower cost and without a prescription. However, OTC hearing aids might not serve those with severe sensorineural hearing loss effectively. Comparing and contrasting these two options can help individuals make a decision that fits their specific hearing needs. A hearing healthcare provider or an audiologist can guide this decision-making process.

Advantages of OTC Hearing Aids

Many people struggle with hearing loss, but not everyone can afford expensive hearing aids. This is where over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids come in. They provide a more affordable solution for those who need auditory help. You can buy OTC hearing aids without a prescription, and they come in a variety of styles and price points. They allow individuals to tailor their hearing needs without incurring the cost of a specialist visit. Furthermore, OTC hearing aids are easy to use and offer a discreet option for those who prefer to keep their hearing aid usage private. In sum, OTC hearing aids provide a cost-effective and convenient alternative for those looking to improve their hearing.

Possible Disadvantages of Using an OTC Hearing Aid

While over-the-counter hearing aids may appear as a convenient and affordable solution for those with hearing loss, there are potential drawbacks to consider. Unlike prescription hearing aids, OTC options are not tailored to an individual’s specific hearing needs, meaning they might not effectively enhance their hearing. In addition, OTC hearing aids might not provide the same level of comfort as prescription options, potentially causing discomfort or even pain with extended use. Before deciding on the best course of action for your hearing health, it’s crucial to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of both options. Consulting with an audiologist about your choices can also be beneficial.

Tips for Selecting the Right OTC Hearing Aid

Hearing loss affects millions of people globally, and many are now opting for over-the-counter hearing aids, or OTCs. While an OTC may not equal a professional hearing aid, it can still be effective and much more affordable. Choosing the right OTC hearing aid can be tricky. Consider factors like comfort, sound quality, and amplification level. Not all OTC hearing aids will produce the sound you prefer. To ensure you get the best device for your needs, do your research, read reviews, and seek professional advice. With the right OTC hearing aid, you can enjoy clearer, more vibrant sound and an improved quality of life.

What to Consider When Shopping for an OTC Hearing Aid

With the rise of over-the-counter hearing aids, it’s important to know what to look for to make the best purchase. These devices might seem like a quick fix, but not every over the counter hearing aid is created equal. It’s essential to do your research and consider factors such as sound quality, comfort, and cost when shopping. Thankfully, hearshearingandhearables.com offers detailed reviews and comparisons to assist you in your decision-making process. Don’t settle for subpar hearing aids – invest time to find the perfect fit for your needs and budget.

In conclusion, over-the-counter hearing aids present an excellent choice for individuals with mild to moderate sensorineural hearing loss. These aids offer not just affordability but also more freedom and independence when compared to regular hearing aids. Despite potential drawbacks like limited sound quality and lack of customization options, many consumers find that an OTC hearing aid perfectly fits their needs.

Knowing how to choose the right OTC hearing aid is crucial. Therefore, staying informed before making a purchase becomes key. With the knowledge of available market options and the necessary features to look for in an over-the-counter device, consumers can confidently select an OTC device that best aligns with their lifestyle.

If you’re seeking an affordable yet efficient solution for managing hearing loss, consider exploring our selection of over-the-counter Hearing Aids. Shop our online collection today to regain balance in your life! As you progress, you might find yourself ready for a prescriptive hearing aid. In our upcoming blog posts, we’ll discuss the importance of treating your hearing loss sooner rather than later,

Over the Counter Hearing Aid

We Carry Over-the-Counter Hearing aids!

October 20, 2022

Over-The-Counter hearing aids are available now and there will be more available soon.

I have written a couple of blogs about over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids.   And we have talked about how we believe that hearing healthcare providers, audiologists, and their teams should be the ones to help you.  We know, however, that the over-the-counter hearing aid will be available at pharmacies, grocery stores, corner markets, and electronic stores over the next few weeks.  We don’t know which brands they will carry or if they will only carry one brand.  Time will tell.

What we do know is that we have the OTC Hearing aid available on our Hears Hearing & Hearables website.

We will carry the OTC hearing aids that are safe and of great quality.  We will have choices for you.  We will not choose only one brand and push it with kickbacks or any shenanigans like that.  We are here to help you find your solution.  It is true that not everyone likes one brand.. unless it is an apple AirPod, or is it that great?  Maybe the AirPod is just fashionable.  Anyway.. We also want to support the smaller manufacturers giving them a chance to compete in this space.  I hope you too will give other products a chance because if we only support one brand, soon there will be no choices.

Will it really be that simple to buy a Hearing Aid online or at a store without the help of an expert?

Yes and no.  (You didn’t really think it would that easy, did you?)

The OTC Hearing aid is going to be very helpful for many people.  It will be especially for a number of people like those who live in under-served areas.  Also helpful for people who now may be more willing to try a hearing aid to see what it is all about now that the hearing-aids will become more common, and less expensive.  From the time a person is diagnosed with hearing loss and the time for them to get help can take as long as 10 years.  Some people get help right away when diagnosed, while others digress.  Everyone is different but in general, most of our patients say “I should have done this years ago” (referring to getting some hearing help).  If you are reading this, you are probably someone who is interested in hearing health.  Then you know that undiagnosed hearing loss can be a risk factor for dementia, depression, falls, and a sense of isolation.  Hearing better improves your ability to process what you hear faster.  Early treatment can make a life-changing difference for those who suffer from hearing loss.

So, there is no question that the new hearing aids that people can purchase over the counter will be a good thing for a great many people.

However, consumers need to educate themselves.  Caveat Emptor.  Yes, let the buyer beware, but also let the buyer be knowledgeable.

What do you need to know?

  1. While a hearing test is not required to buy one of these products, many providers recommend one and we recommend one. It is difficult for a consumer to know if their hearing loss is mild, moderate, severe, due to wax build-up, or some other medical issue.  These OTC aids are meant for adults with a mild to moderate loss.  You need to know before you buy the product if it is appropriate for you.
  2. Be sure you are purchasing an OTC hearing aid that will help you in the situation you want hearing help with.  For instance, if you are having trouble hearing the TV and the TV only, then you might want to get a hearable or an accessory and not a hearing aid to just help you with the TV.  If you are having a hard time hearing in noise, make sure you find a product that will work well for you in noise.
  3. Look at the product’s return policy, customer service plan, and warranty. Check the company website for more information about the device.  Can you return it if you do not like the way it sounds?
  4. What happens if it stops working; can someone help you fix it or does it need to go into the manufacturer for repair?  Who pays for those repairs?  Where can you get help?
  5. This self-fitting process will be new for everyone. Hearing loss is not a one-size-fits-all.  It is not like going to a pharmacy and buying a pair of readers (and according to our optometrists they share that buying readers people make mistakes all the time). Hearing aids, even over-the-counter hearing aids, are still going to be more expensive than vision cheaters.
  6.   Hearing loss is complicated and individual.  Give yourself time with your new aids.   Be patient.  Those who are a bit more tech-savvy may have an advantage.  Some of these devices can be controlled through an app on your phone.
  7. Know what type of aid are you looking for or what you want it to do. Some will have batteries that need to be replaced every few days;  depending on use.  Others will have a rechargeable battery within the aid, and you will need a charger.
  8. Keep all your receipts for warranty purposes and for the IRS. These are medical devices so they could be listed as part of your annual medical expenses.  Check with your tax professional.  See if your insurance will pay any part of the cost, or if you can use your health spending account.

 

We at Hears Hearing & Hearables are here to support your purchase.

You are welcome to have a free conversation via our email contact or pay for professional consultation via our telehealth.  We can help you find a provider near you that will help support your over-the-counter purchase.   Some of the products we sell will allow for a thirty-day trial.   Some of the products will allow for a two-week test.  Please keep all your packaging if you do think you are going to return them.  We recommend you return them if you are unhappy with the product and try something else.  There will be so many choices.  We can help you find the right choice and we will be sharing as much information we have on the products as they come out.  We also will only sell those devices that we have tested out ourselves.  We are dedicated to helping people on their hearing journey.  It is our passion.  If you purchase an aid through our website or from another site, we are here to help.  There may be a charge for our service but service is going to be harder to find.

Going through this process could be daunting; you do not have to go it alone.

Thanks for reading,  Karen (and Kim)

We are here to help

We Hope to Carry Over-the-Counter Hearing aids-Coming soon

August 15, 2021

Our Hears to U local Audiology clinic just wrote a blog about Over-the-Counter Hearing aids and we posted it on LinkedIn to share with our peers. Click here to read it on Linkedin.

What is interesting is how many hearing professionals do not think the newly created over-the-counter Hearing aids will work out for the consumer or help them. They are under the belief that you have to have a hearing professional do it all. And although you, the consumer or person who is interested in the Over-the-Counter (OTC) type hearing device, you might just be very successful with what you choose and fit for yourself.

We mostly agree with the general hearing health care providers, that you will be most successful with the product with support from Audiologists and hearing health care providers.

Even people who use smartphones need an occasional bit of help. People often turn to google to ask a question. And my friend, our consumer, this is why we are here for you.  To support you, even if you have to find us on google!  And hopefully, our information will be easy for you to find on google, bing, yelp or whatever search engine you use.  We are constantly sharing information in blogs and soon we will have an audio file that will read the blog for you, while you stream from your new hearing devices. We also have social media channels to help you and support you.

Please feel free to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube. We will help you find local support in a state near you! Someone you can trust as we will do the background check for you.

We will find that hearing care professional that agrees with this movement so that you will be supported in your endeavors to save some money and get what you need.

We also want to help guide you to the appropriate Over-the-Counter Hearing aid.

It is estimated that there will be 100s of products out there and how do you know which products that are good and which might hurt your ears more.  What features do these OTC hearing aids have?  Are the features you want or need?  Is it appropriate for your hearing needs?  So many questions.

I understand they won’t be expensive.

But isn’t that a relative statement?  What is expensive for one of us might not be for someone else.  And also perhaps you don’t want to spend a lot of money on something that isn’t bothering you, but you heard that getting a little bit of hearing help is good for you, for your brain. That is true.  This is a fun puzzle that we are good at and will help you find what you want and need.

Here are other concerns some hearing health care professionals worry about.

They worry that if you try a product over-the-Counter, and you hate it and it doesn’t work, you will not do anything about it and walk around not hearing.  Well, I suppose that some people might do that and think that if they buy an inexpensive basic solution and that doesn’t work, nothing will work.  I think more likely, what people will think is that “you get what you pay for” or that a professional needs to be consulted.  And again my friends, our consumers, and patients, that is why we are here. We want you to not give up and so we will counsel you on realistic expectations if you so ask! We hope to never sell you something that won’t work for you.  And if we do, within a reasonable time of you testing it, we plan on taking it back.

Accessibility makes it easy to embrace better Hearing.

When you live in the city, accessibility is easier as just around the next corner, you may have a warehouse or a hospital or clinic that can provide you with a hearing test and hearing aids.  Many people live in rural areas and it is harder for them to get to the cities.  IF that is your case, you will love our new store as we offer access to rural areas and find support however we can get it to you.  I was thinking about it a few weeks ago and perhaps for the right cost, someone from our team might take a little road trip to you.   We have to charge for the fancy support as all we have is our time and expertise.

The product stands alone.

Our website will offer videos and support with blogs and a customer chat area that we call our “Forum”.  However, if you need more support, like wax removal, hearing tests, counseling, technical support, and know-how, we at Hears to U and other hearing professionals around the United States are here for “brick-and-mortar” service.   We know that you will all understand that service has to be paid for so we can stay helping you.  Think about all the service industries, like chiropractors, massage therapists, physical therapists, doctors, dentists, and even mechanics all charge for their time.  Sometimes health care insurance will pay and well, sometimes sadly it doesn’t pay.

Thank you for letting us help you and find that Over-the-Counter Hearing aid for you.  Cheers!  

 

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