Just picture being able to toss a pair of hearing aids in your shopping cart while popping in to pick up a dozen eggs, a carton of milk, and a loaf of bread. It’s true: you can now purchase hearing aids over the counter from a variety of major retailers! This is fantastic news for those who have faced obstacles and high prices to obtain these necessary devices, but there’s some important information to be aware of before picking up your next pair of hearing aids.
Exactly How Much Does It Cost to Purchase Hearing Aids Over the Counter?
In comparison to the $2,000 – $8,000+ price tag on prescription hearing aids, the non-prescription type can be obtained for as low as $199. Cost is based, however, on the model and features chosen, and may be more expensive.
Who Is Able to Use Over-the-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aids?
Tens of millions of people can benefit from these hearing aids, which are designed for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss. If you answer “yes” to the following three questions, over-the-counter hearing aids may be a good fit for you:
- Are you able to hear easily in a person-to-person conversation in a quiet environment?
- Would you only need a hearing aid in certain overwhelming situations, rather than most or all the time?
- Are you able to hear the TV or telephone better just by slightly turning up the volume?
It’s important to note that when purchasing over-the-counter hearing aids, consumers are responsible for setting up the device, including fitting and tuning the sound.
Do I Need to See an Audiologist Prior to Purchasing Hearing Aids Over the Counter?
The basic answer is “no,” but it 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 don’t require a prescription, technically, there is no requirement to see the audiologist to be able to buy and use them. But an audiologist is nonetheless an incredibly important part of the hearing loss puzzle. They are able to conduct a hearing test, establish the degree and kind of hearing loss, and suggest the most effective type of hearing aid to achieve the most benefit. Most insurance agencies as well as Medicare cover the cost for hearing tests, despite the fact that prescription hearing aids usually are not covered. An audiologist also can pick up on other ear issues that need medical help and recommend steps to take to maintain healthy hearing.
With more than 37 million adults in the US battling some level of hearing loss, and just 25% of them currently using a hearing aid, OTC hearing aids are slated to bring relief to many people, at a cost that’s more attractive.
If somebody you love is living with hearing loss, let a home care professional from At-Home Care Company, a provider of Boone home health services, help. We are readily available with a complete selection of customized in-home support services to help older loved ones continue to live independently in the homes they love. Get in touch with us at 515-292-2650 for more information! Visit our Service Area page for a full list of the communities we serve.