OTC Hearing Aids Are Coming!
(If you can’t hear the TV, what else are you missing?)
There’s good news for those who suffer from mild to moderate hearing loss. It won’t be long now before over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids are available. This is about more than watching TV, these hearing devices could help countless thousands of adults live fuller lives.
(And, just so you know, unlike TV headphones, Chair Speakers for TV will work with your OTC hearing aids!)
As AARP reported earlier this year, “Beginning next year, if not sooner, consumers should have access to over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids that are expected to bring down the price and hassles associated with purchasing one. The change comes thanks to a federal law passed in 2017 directing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ease barriers to buying a hearing aid.”
Why OTC Hearing Aids Are Needed
Research has shown that only about 20 % of the people who suffer from hearing loss get hearing aids. There are several reasons for that:
- Hearing loss is usually a gradual process, so they may not realize how much they’re missing.
- They associate hearing loss and hearing aids with being old.
- Hearing aids aren’t covered by Medicare or private insurance – and they’re expensive!
Most experts believe cost is the determining factor. Hearing aids can cost thousands of dollars, plus you have to go to a doctor or audiologist to have them fitted and programmed. For many people, that’s just time and money they don’t have.
Making hearing aids more affordable – and thereby more accessible – is important. “The consequences of hearing loss go beyond missed conversations,” AARP says. “It’s been associated with cognitive decline, because as people lose their ability to hear, they get less mental input and stimulation. It also is linked to depression and social isolation, as the problem can make it difficult to interact with friends and families.”
Despite what you may see online, over-the-counter hearing aids are not yet available. (Keep following the Chair Speakers for TV blog; we’ll have more on that in another posting soon!)
If you already have hearing aids, you don’t need us to tell you that they sometimes work betting in some situations than others. Fortunately, our innovative TV listening device works with your hearing aids, so you can hear the TV comfortably and clearly.