What are OTC hearing aids?
Over-the-Counter (OTC) hearing aids are a new category of hearing aids that are available for consumers to buy directly without seeing a hearing health care professional. OTC hearing aids are self-fit hearing aids that are designed for adults with perceived mild to moderate hearing loss. OTC hearing aids are regulated as medical devices by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Where can I purchase OTC hearing aids?
OTC hearing aids can be purchased online, at large retail chains and pharmacies. When purchasing OTC hearing aids, it is important to read the information on the box, as each device has different return policies.
What is the difference between OTC hearing aids and prescription hearing aids?
OTC Hearing Aids
Fit by: Self
Age: 18 years and older
Assessment: Online self-testing
Return Policy: No requirement depends on the company
Hearing Loss Severity: Self-perceived mild to moderate
Verification Measures of Hearing Aids: None
Prescription Hearing Aids
Fit by: Licensed audiologist and custom programmed for each patient’s hearing loss and listening goals.
Age: All ages
Assessment: Comprehensive audiologic evaluation that includes objective and subjective measures
Style: Includes custom in-the-ear, receiver-in-the-ear, and behind-the-ear
Return Policy: 45 days as mandated by the state of California
Hearing Loss Severity: All degrees
Verification Measures of Hearing Aids: Real Ear Measurements (REMs)
What is our recommendation?
At Hearing Services of Santa Barbara, we strongly believe in hearing health care professionals and that hearing aids work. We advise all our patients and people considering OTC hearing aids to have a comprehensive audiometric evaluation with an audiologist before purchasing hearing aids or OTC hearing aids. Our team’s priority is to ensure that you receive evidence-based treatment and a hearing device that is appropriate for your hearing loss, overall lifestyle and listening goals.
If you are interested in learning more about hearing aids and OTC hearing aids from a licensed professional, please call our office to schedule a comprehensive audiometric and hearing aid evaluation at 805-967-4200.
Please note: at this time our office does NOT carry any OTC products.