On the Horizon: OTC Hearing Aids?>

On the Horizon: OTC Hearing Aids

by Melissa Caravella  

The Over-the-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aid Act will allow for the sale of OTC hearing aids for mild to moderate hearing loss beginning in 2020.

Unlike other personal sound amplification devices sold over the counter, hearing aids must be approved by the FDA and meet specific technical and safety standards.

The act is meant to improve access to hearing aids and reduce some costs associated with the devices. Some experts caution, however, that people may skip essential hearing exams and fittings by an audiologist who can otherwise guide them toward an OTC device that’s best for their needs. Otherwise, say the experts, buyers may be dissatisfied with their purchase and not use it.

This article first appeared in the December 2019 issue of UC Berkeley Health After 50.