senior lady being fitted for hearing aid

Just picture being able to toss a set of hearing aids in your shopping cart along with a dozen eggs, a carton of milk, and a loaf of bread. It’s true: hearing aids are now available without a prescription from a number of national retailers! This is excellent news for people who have faced hurdles and excessive costs due to required prescriptions for hearing aids, but there’s some important information to know before purchasing your next pair.

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

As opposed 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. Price depends, however, on the model and features chosen and may be significantly higher.

Who Can Use Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids?

Tens of millions of people can benefit from these hearing aids, which are designed mainly for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss. If you answer “yes” to the following questions, over-the-counter hearing aids may be appropriate for your needs:

  • Are you able to hear easily in a one-on-one conversation in a quiet setting?
  • Would you only require a hearing aid in certain difficult situations, rather than most or all the time?
  • Are you able to hear the television 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 Have to Have an Appointment with an Audiologist Before 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 since the aids don’t require a prescription, technically, there is no requirement to see the audiologist in order to buy and use them. But an audiologist remains an extremely important part of the hearing loss equation. They’re able to conduct a hearing test, diagnose the degree and form of hearing loss, and suggest the best kind of hearing aid to gain the most benefit. Most insurance providers as well as Medicare cover the cost for hearing tests, though prescription hearing aids usually are not covered. An audiologist also can pick up on other ear problems that need medical attention and recommend steps to help maintain healthy hearing.

Now that prescriptions for hearing aids are no longer needed, it is expected that millions of people will have greater access to the devices they need. With more than 37 million adults in America struggling with some amount of hearing loss, and just 25% of them currently using a hearing aid, over-the-counter hearing aids are slated to bring relief to many people, at a price that is more palatable.

If somebody you love is dealing with hearing loss, let Grace Home Care’s experts in caring for older parents help. We are on hand with a complete array of customized in-home support services to help older loved ones continue to live on their own in the homes they love. Give us a call at 785-286-2273 for more info about our award-winning home care services in Topeka!