senior lady being fitted for hearing aid

Imagine being able to toss a pair of hearing aids in your shopping cart along with a dozen eggs, a carton of milk, and a loaf of bread. Now you can: there’s no prescription needed for hearing aids, and they’re now available from a variety of national retailers! This is great news for anyone who has faced hurdles and outrageous prices to acquire these crucial devices, but there’s some important information to be aware of before acquiring your next set of hearing aids.

How Much Do Over-the-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aids Cost?

Compared to the $2,000 – $8,000+ price that prescription hearing aids carry, the non-prescription version can be acquired for as low as $199. Price is based, however, on the model and features selected and may be more expensive.

Who Is Able to Use Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids?

Tens of millions of people can benefit from these hearing aids, which are meant mainly for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss. If you answer “yes” to the questions below, OTC hearing aids may be right for you:

  • Is it possible to hear with ease in a one-on-one conversation in a quiet location?
  • Would you only require a hearing aid in certain stressful conditions, rather than most or all the time?
  • Are you able to hear the TV or telephone better by just slightly turning up the volume?

With over-the-counter hearing aids, consumers are responsible for setting up the device, including fitting and tuning the sound.

Do I Need to Visit an Audiologist Before Purchasing Hearing Aids Over the Counter?

The basic answer is “no,” but it really isn’t quite that simple. There are hearing tests that can be taken online or through an app on your phone, and since the aids do not require a prescription, technically, there is no requirement to see the audiologist to be able to purchase and use them. But an audiologist remains a very important part of the hearing loss puzzle. They’re able to perform a hearing test, diagnose the degree and form of hearing loss, and recommend the most effective type of hearing aid to gain the most benefit. Most insurance providers as well as Medicare cover the cost for hearing tests, even though prescription hearing aids are generally not covered. An audiologist can also pick up on other ear conditions that require medical help.

With over 37 million adults in America struggling with some degree of hearing loss, and just 25% of them presently using a hearing aid, over-the-counter hearing aids are slated to bring relief to a lot of people at a price that’s more palatable.

More good news: there’s no prescription needed for home care services either! If someone you love is struggling with hearing loss, let a home care professional from Inspired Home Care, a provider of in-home senior care in Palatine, IL and the surrounding communities, help. We’re readily available with a variety of customized in-home support services to help seniors continue to live on their own in the homes they love. Get in touch with us at 847-787-7572 for more info!