This Holiday Season…November 30, 2021
Now more than ever consumers MUST be informed to know if OTC Hearing Aids are something they can benefit from.
Know the difference between different hearing devices:
- Personal Sound Amplification Products: These are electronic devices intended to accentuate sounds. They are not intended for hearing loss management.
- Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids: Devices intended for adults ONLY who have a self-perceived hearing loss which is mild-to-moderate. These devices MUST be self-fitting without professional help and meet the FDA standards of quality and safety. If they are not self-fitting and instead come with pre-set programs, they do not meet the FDA OTC Hearing Aids regulation. Consumers should look for OTC on the label.
- Prescription Hearing Aids: These are medical devices regulated by the FDA, intended to treat hearing loss of different types and different degrees. They can be fitted to infants, children, and adults. They require a licensed professional to fit them.
Be informed about the FDA standards for quality and safety:
- Not because a device can be bought online or at an electronic store means it has received FDA approval under the FDA OTC hearing aids new regulation.
- Consumers must know the difference between these non-regulated devices and those that have received FDA approval. The FDA approval ensures these devices meet quality and safety standards.
- Th Hearing Loss Association of America has put together some key points for consumers to consider: Over-the-Counter (OTC) Hearing Devices – Hearing Loss Association of America
Pay attention to red flags and look for professional help if you or a loved one:
- Experience a sudden hearing deterioration or tinnitus onset. Sudden hearing loss needs to be treated by a licensed physician as soon as possible to benefit from treatment.
- Have diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or history of ototoxicity (use of ototoxic medications such as those found in cancer treatment). Your hearing should be monitored by a licensed audiologist as those conditions put you at a higher risk of hearing deterioration.
- Perceive that one ear is better than the other. Asymmetrical hearing losses should be assessed by a licensed audiologist and a licensed otolaryngologist.
- Experiences unilateral tinnitus (ringing in only one ear) or debilitating bilateral tinnitus (ringing in both ears). Tinnitus should be assessed by a licensed audiologist who can initiate other referrals if needed, and who can provide tinnitus management services
- Feels pain or fullness in the ear. Ear pain could be a sign of a middle ear condition which will need treatment from a licensed physician.
- Experiences changes in hearing, tinnitus, and dizziness. Our ears control our hearing and our balance. Certain conditions may cause these symptoms and will benefit from assessment and treatment from a team of professionals (a licensed audiologist and a licensed ear specialist).