How much do OTC hearing aids cost?
Hearing aids can significantly improve the quality of life for those with hearing loss. However, the process of getting a hearing aid can be costly and time-consuming. That’s where over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids come in. They offer an affordable and accessible solution. Here, we’ve compiled a list of the best OTC hearing aids available in 2023 based on key factors like price, performance, and customer reviews.
OTC hearing aids range in price from around $50 to $800 per device, depending on the brand and features.
Comparison of the best OTC hearing aids
Invisibile Audionexx ID1
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Automatically adapts your audio profile to your current soundscape for clearer speech and better conversations in all kinds of environments
Sony CRE-C10 Self-Fitting
What are OTC hearing aids?
Over-the-counter hearing aids are devices designed to amplify sound for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. They can be purchased directly from a store or online without a prescription from a healthcare provider.
Who are OTC hearing aids for?
OTC hearing aids are ideal for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss who want an affordable, easy-to-obtain alternative to prescription hearing aids.
Over-the-counter hearing aids pros and cons
Pros include affordability, accessibility, and ease of use. Cons can be less customization, potential for misuse if the user has undiagnosed severe hearing loss, and lack of professional fitting and follow-up care.
How do OTC hearing aids work?
OTC hearing aids work by amplifying sounds. They typically consist of a microphone to pick up sound, an amplifier to increase the volume, and a speaker to deliver the louder sound into the user’s ear.
How are OTC hearing aids regulated?
In the United States, OTC hearing aids are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
OTC vs. prescription hearing aids, as of May 2023
While both types of hearing aids serve the same basic function – to amplify sound – prescription hearing aids are typically custom-fit to the user’s ear and hearing loss profile, and they often come with professional support and follow-up care. OTC hearing aids, on the other hand, are generally one-size-fits-all and can be purchased without a prescription.
OTC vs hearing amplifiers (PSAPs)
Hearing amplifiers, also known as Personal Sound Amplification Products (PSAPs), are not intended to correct hearing loss but rather to amplify sounds in certain environments. OTC hearing aids, on the other hand, are designed to manage mild to moderate hearing loss.
What to look for in an over-the-counter hearing aid
Key factors to consider when buying an OTC hearing aid include price, sound quality, fit and comfort, battery life, and additional features like Bluetooth connectivity.
How to save money on OTC hearing aids
Look for sales and discounts, consider lesser-known brands that offer quality products at lower prices, and compare prices at different retailers.
Do Medicare or Medicaid cover hearing aids?
Asof 2023, Medicare does not generally cover the cost of hearing aids. Some states’ Medicaid programs do offer hearing aid coverage, but this varies by state and individual eligibility. It’s important to check with your specific plan to understand what is covered.
Are OTC hearing aids any good?
Yes, OTC hearing aids can be an effective solution for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. They provide sound amplification at a more affordable price point than prescription hearing aids. However, they may not offer the same level of customization or professional care that prescription devices provide.
Can hearing aids be bought over the counter?
Yes, hearing aids can be bought over the counter in many pharmacies and retail stores, as well as online.
Can I get a hearing aid without an audiologist?
Yes, OTC hearing aids can be purchased without the need for an audiologist’s prescription. However, if you have severe hearing loss or other specific medical conditions related to your ears, it’s advised to seek professional medical advice.
Are OTC hearing aids as good as prescription hearing aids?
OTC hearing aids are suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss, while prescription hearing aids are typically recommended for moderate to severe hearing loss. Prescription aids also come with professional fitting, fine-tuning, and follow-up care, which OTC aids don’t offer.
What is the best over-the-counter hearing aid?
This is subjective and depends on individual needs. However, based on our analysis, the “Best for Seniors” is Jabra Enhance, “Best Invisible Fit” is Eargo, and the “Most User-Friendly” is Lexie.
What is the difference between OTC and prescription hearing aids?
The key differences include how they’re obtained (OTC hearing aids can be bought directly, prescription aids require an audiologist), cost (OTC aids are generally cheaper), and level of customization (prescription aids can be tailored to individual hearing profiles).
What companies are making OTC hearing aids?
Many companies are now making OTC hearing aids, including Audionexx, Eargo, Audien, Audicus, Go Hearing, MDHearing, Lucid, and Sony, among others.
Does Medicare pay for over-the-counter hearing aids?
As of 2023, Medicare does not typically cover the cost of over-the-counter hearing aids.
Where can I buy OTC hearing aids near me?
OTC hearing aids can be purchased at several local stores and online retailers including Walgreens, Walmart, Best Buy, Hy-Vee, and CVS.
Does Walmart have OTC hearing aids?
Yes, Walmart sells a variety of OTC hearing aids in-store and online.
Does Walgreens have OTC hearing aids?
Yes, Walgreens does sell OTC hearing aids both in-store and online.
Does Best Buy have OTC hearing aids?
Best Buy’s product offerings vary by location, but they do typically carry a selection of OTC hearing aids.
Does Hy-Vee have OTC hearing aids?
Hy-Vee’s product offerings can vary by location. It’s recommended to check with your local Hy-Vee store or their online platform.
Does CVS have OTC hearing aids?
Yes, CVS carries a variety of OTC hearing aids both in-store and online.
How to Use and Maintain OTC Hearing Aids
Once you’ve selected your preferred OTC hearing aid, it’s crucial to understand how to properly use and maintain it to ensure maximum effectiveness and longevity. Here are some general steps to follow:
- Read the Manual: Before using your new hearing aid, thoroughly read the user manual. It will provide specific instructions on how to use and care for the device.
- Fit the Device: Place the hearing aid in or on your ear as instructed. Some devices might come with different sizes of ear tips to ensure a comfortable and secure fit.
- Adjust the Settings: Many OTC hearing aids allow you to adjust the volume and sometimes even the sound profile. Start with the lowest settings and gradually increase until you find a comfortable listening level.
- Clean Regularly: Keep your hearing aid clean by wiping it with a dry cloth and using a brush to remove any earwax or debris. Always ensure your hands are clean before handling the device.
- Store Properly: When not in use, store your hearing aid in a dry, cool place. Avoid exposing the device to extreme temperatures or moisture.
- Change or Charge Batteries Regularly: If your device uses disposable batteries, change them regularly. For rechargeable devices, establish a routine for charging to ensure your hearing aid is always ready for use.
OTC Hearing Aids: A Valuable Tool for Hearing Health
In conclusion, OTC hearing aids can be an excellent option for those with mild to moderate hearing loss who want a more accessible and affordable solution. While they might not offer the same level of customization or professional support as prescription hearing aids, their ease of use, affordability, and availability make them a valuable tool for maintaining hearing health.
Remember, if you’re experiencing hearing loss, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional to understand the best options for your specific needs. If OTC hearing aids are right for you, the options listed above represent some of the best available in 2023.
Remember to consider key factors such as cost, sound quality, comfort, and additional features when making your selection. Happy hearing!