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What do you need to know? Over the counter hearing aids

Posted: September 26, 2022, 8:27AM

Over-the-counter hearing aids are now available directly to consumers without a medical exam or a fitting by an audiologist. (See Blog Archives: Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids, August 19, 2022)  This option and lower prices will give more people access to hearing improvement. 

There are things you need to know when looking into over-the-counter hearing aids.

The National Council on Aging Age Well Planner has an informative article on "Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids Are Coming:  What Older Adults Need to Know".  [Note:  Since these devices are available to consumers over 18, I would suggest that this is information for ANYONE who is considering purchasing an over-the-counter hearing aid.]

Here are some of the suggestions.  

  • Do you want rechargeable or replaceable batteries?  (Rechargeable may be a more expensive initial investment but may be less expensive than replacements.)
  • Do you want Bluetooth auto streaming? (For watching TV, using the phone)
  • Do you want feedback control, volume control, or a directional microphone?  
  • Do you want a hearing aid that is placed behind the ear or in the ear?
  • Do you want a telecoil?  (Read about this in the article.)

Jeff Rossen (WTAE Channel 4 Pittsburgh PA news 09/18/22) offered additional suggestions from Consumer Reports:

  • What is the return policy?
  • Are they sweat and water-resistant?
  • Are there extra accessories?

Do your homework.  Look into what is available and look for ratings.

Remember:  Medicare does not cover hearing aids.  Some Medicare Advantage plans offer Value Added benefits that may provide some hearing coverage.  Check your policy or talk to your MA plan. 


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