Imagine being able to toss a set 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: hearing aids can now be purchased without a prescription from places you shop every day! This is good news for those who have faced red tape and outrageous costs to obtain these crucial devices, but there’s some important information to know before picking up your next set of hearing aids.
How Much Do Over-the-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aids Cost?
Compared to the $2,000 – $8,000+ price tag that prescription hearing aids carry, the over-the-counter version can be obtained for as low as $199. Cost depends, however, on the model and features chosen, and can be more expensive.
Who Is Able to Use OTC Hearing Aids?
Tens of millions of people can benefit from these hearing aids, which are designed primarily for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss. If you answer “yes” to the following three questions, OTC hearing aids may be right for you:
- Can you hear easily in a person-to-person conversation in a quiet location?
- Do you only need a hearing aid in certain stressful instances as opposed to most or all of the time?
- Are you able to hear the TV or phone better just by slightly turning up the volume?
Over-the-counter hearing aids must be set up and adjusted by the consumer, although some manufacturers do offer online assistance.
Do I Need to Have an Appointment With an Audiologist Prior to Buying OTC Hearing Aids?
The straightforward answer is “no,” but it isn’t quite that simple. There are basic hearing tests that may be taken online or through an app on your phone, and due to the fact that the aids don’t require a prescription, technically, there’s no requirement to see the audiologist to be able to purchase and use them. But an audiologist continues to be a very important part of the hearing loss equation. They are able to conduct a hearing test, diagnose the degree and type of hearing loss, and recommend the best type of hearing aid to achieve the most benefit. Most insurance providers as well as Medicare cover the cost for hearing tests, but prescription hearing aids are typically 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 over 37 million adults in America struggling with some level of hearing loss, and only 25% of them presently using a hearing aid, over-the-counter hearing aids are slated to bring relief to many people, at a cost that is more attractive.
If someone you love is struggling with hearing loss, let an in-home care professional from Absolute Companion Care, a provider of award-winning home care in Harford County and throughout the surrounding areas, help. We’re readily available with a complete range of customized in-home support services to help older loved ones continue to live on their own in the homes they love. Contact us at 410-357-9640 to learn more!