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What Are OTC Hearing Aids?

4 min read

What are OTC hearing aids? For mild to moderate hearing loss, over-the-counter hearing aids are a great option. Everyone deserves to hear. Over-the-counter hearing aids make that easier. In this article, you will learn the answer to the question, “What are OTC hearing aids?”, why you would buy OTC hearing aids over prescription hearing aids, and about the best over-the-counter hearing aids.

otc hearing aids

What Does OTC Mean

What are OTC hearing aids and what does OTC mean? OTC stands for over-the-counter. Perhaps you have heard the term over the counter in reference to medications like antihistamines and pain relievers. You go to the nearest drug store, pick the medication up off the shelf or ask the pharmacist, pay and you are on your way. There is no prescription necessary. 

How does the concept of over-the-counter apply to hearing aids? What are OTC hearing aids? Just as with over-the-counter medication, over-the-counter hearing aids are hearing aids you can buy without a prescription.

Why Buy OTC Hearing Aids?

Before over-the-counter hearing aids became an acceptable option, the only way to get hearing aids was with a prescription. You would need to go to an audiologist who would test your hearing and decide what type of hearing aid you needed. You would need to pay for the initial visit, the hearing aid itself, and follow-up appointments to maintain the hearing aid. Unfortunately, most insurance does not cover hearing aids. That means that all of this needs to be paid out of pocket.

So, what are OTC hearing aids? They are a category of hearing aid that is more accessible than prescription hearing aids. Regarding pricing, OTC hearing aids are a fraction of the price of prescription hearing aids. Americans will save an average of $2,800 a pair when buying over the counter. 

Who Should Buy Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids?

What are OTC hearing aids and what customer are they best used for?Unfortunately, over-the-counter hearing aids are not for everyone. Over-the-counter hearing aids are only approved for people 18 and older with mild to moderate hearing loss. This is a hearing loss of only between 20 and 60 decibels. If a patient has more severe hearing loss, over-the-counter hearing aids may not be effective enough. These patients need a prescription hearing aid fit for severe to profound hearing loss.

25% of people between 65 and 75 struggle with hearing loss and 50% of those 75 and older struggle with hearing loss. Most of these people will not use a hearing aid, whether it be due to price, a sense of shame, or any other reason. People should have access to medical equipment that makes their lives easier. Over-the-counter hearing aids can make life better for people struggling with mild to moderate hearing loss.

types of hearing aids

Hearing Aids Over the Counter

What are OTC hearing aid topics that you need to understandWhen deciding to buy hearing aids over the counter, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. 

Many brands have a one-size-fits-most model. While it will probably fit you, there is a chance it could be too big, too small, or uncomfortable. When you get a prescription hearing aid, the health worker will fit the hearing aid onto your ear, program your hearing aid, and show you how to use the settings. They will also provide maintenance throughout the life of the hearing aid. If you buy hearing aids over the counter, you will need to do this yourself. Most will come with an app or software that will make configuring the device easier, but it will still take some getting used to.

Best Over the Counter Hearing Aids

Now that you have learned the answer to the question, “What are OTC hearing aids?” you need to pick the hearing aid that is right for you.

Sontro OTC Hearing Aids®

Soundwave Hearing offers one of the best over-the-counter hearing aids. The Sontro Self-Fitting OTC Hearing Aids are small, discreet, behind-the-ear hearing aids. This artificially intelligent hearing aid uses machine learning to identify your hearing trouble spots and respond in turn. Directional microphones and advanced signal processing manage noise from all directions so you can enjoy the conversation at hand. Wide Dynamic Range Compression expands your range of hearing by making quiet sounds louder and loud sounds more comfortable. All of this can be controlled from the otoTune® app for the best hearing experience possible. 

Sontro OTC Hearing Aids come with a 45-day money-back guarantee, a 1-year warranty, free shipping, and receiver changes. Included in your purchase are 2 Sontro OTC Hearing Aids, 1 quick start guide, 1 receiver measurement tool, 4 312 batteries, 8 ear domes, 1 carrying case, 1 cleaning tool, and 2 sport locks.

Choosing a Hearing Aid

Choosing the right hearing aid is an important decision. When deciding what hearing aid is right for you, consider these four things. 

First, you should decide which features you can not live without. Odds are there is an over-the-counter option with these features, but for more advanced features you may first need to visit an audiologist. 

Second, you should consider your lifestyle. For example,  if you spend a lot of time in windy environments, a hearing aid that is great at cutting out background noise might be the best choice for you. 

Third, decide on the right style for you. Hearing aids come in many shapes, sizes, and with many different features. Some lay behind the ear, others in the ear or ear canal. On top of deciding whether to buy over-the-counter hearing aids or go the prescription route, you need to decide what you want your hearing aid to look like and what you want it to do.

Fourth, consider your budget. Hearing aids get expensive very quickly. You can save a lot of money by opting for over-the-counter hearing aids, but even those can get expensive depending on which features you want.

over the counter hearing aids

OTC Hearing Aids

What are OTC hearing aids? Now that you know there is an alternative to prescription hearing aids, you can find the hearing aids that are right for you.  Soundwave Hearing is passionate about improving lives through hearing. Our Sontro OTC Hearing Aids are an affordable, discreet, technologically advanced product that can help bring clear sound back into your life.