By: Jennifer Thomson, Au.D.
It is estimated that 1 in 8 Americans and nearly 1.1 million Ohioans have hearing loss. Typically, people wait an average of 7 years before seeking help for their hearing loss.
In late October 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) established rules for a class of over the counter (OTC) hearing aids. These hearing aids could be sold directly to consumers in stores or online. The rules established will likely not go into effect until late 2022 due to a review period and finalization.
It should be known that hearing aids are not comparable to OTC reading glasses, but rather contact lenses. You should not use a hearing aid without first understanding the magnitude of your hearing loss which can be addressed through a professional hearing evaluation. Without a proper hearing test, fitting, and professional guidance, the misuse of a hearing aid increases. If a hearing aid is not fit properly, this can cause further damage to the ear, worsening the hearing loss.
Hearing aids do not restore hearing to normal. They provide greater access to sounds which improves communication and makes listening more effortless.
OTC products are not a good fit for everyone. They are not intended for children, and they are not intended for adults with more than a mild to moderate hearing loss.
At Columbus Speech & Hearing, we are available to answer questions you may have regarding hearing loss and amplification. We take the time to develop a custom treatment plan for you so you may have the greatest benefit from your hearing aids. We look forward to helping you!