Audiology experts say they are pleased to see the lower prices. Lin said he believes prices will fall even further as more competitors enter the market over the next two years. Prices and features will vary for both new over-the-counter and prescription hearing aids. Price ranked as the second most important factor when deciding which hearing aid to buy, right behind ease of use.
Ortiz-Hawkins pointed out certain cases in which you should seek the help of a doctor, audiologist, or other hearing professional for an in-person evaluation. Premium headphones can also offer machine learning or artificial intelligence, which, according to the manufacturers, helps provide the clearest and sharpest sound in any given situation. While discount options can sometimes restrict the number of services you can receive from an audiologist for the hearing aids you choose or limit the warranty options available to you, there are several ways to save on this health expense. But for anyone who thinks that buying an over-the-counter hearing aid will help them as easily as getting cheap reading glasses improves their eyesight, Kelley cautions that it's not that simple.
Start by contacting your health insurance company to determine if your plan covers hearing aids. The hearing aids will be available directly in stores or online without the need for medical tests, prescriptions or adjustments by the audiologist. Many Americans may be surprised that the federal insurance program doesn't offer help to people who are more likely to need hearing aids. Although over-the-counter hearing aids are more widely available than prescription hearing aids, they're not the best option for everyone.
And when the alternative is to have no type of hearing care, it's helpful to have a category that offers some benefit, even if it's limited from a professional point of view, Kupfer said. That's why advocates welcome a new federal rule that allows devices to be sold without a prescription, hoping that the measure will lower prices and make it easier for people with hearing loss to improve their lives. It also warns consumers not to use devices that amplify the sound too much, as excessive volume could further damage their hearing. This is because many cases of hearing loss are highly individualized and present problems related to specific frequencies or environments.
The White House promoted announcements from major retailers that they would start offering lower-priced hearing aids, including those from Walgreens (AMB). It can help determine if hearing loss is age-related or due to a medical condition that requires additional follow-up care and treatment. He instructed the Department of Health and Human Services to propose a standard for over-the-counter hearing aids, setting a new schedule.