The Unintended Consequences of OTC Hearing Aids

August 16, 2022

(Wired) – I have nearly 98 percent hearing loss in both ears. For over 30 years, I’ve spent thousands of dollars on my hearing aids, costs that were partially subsided by insurance. This week, the FDA finalized over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids that can be sold without a prescription to people with mild-to-moderate hearing loss. OTC hearing aids will be available as soon as October. For the past two years, analysts have been predicting that when OTC hearing aids finally arrive, they will revolutionize the market in the US, making the devices cheaper and possible to obtain without medical prescriptions or testing. But while this new business model means manufacturers can sell directly to consumers, it may have unintended consequences for me or other deaf people who have more than moderate hearing loss. (Read More)