Find out how to buy over-the-counter hearing aids
Where can I find hearing aids in stores?
Some retailers will offer over-the-counter hearing aids on regular store shelves, or at a kiosk or in well-marked designated areas. Other products, however, such as the $799 Lexie Lumen hearing aid, will be behind the drugstore counter, according to Luke Rauch, Walgreens senior vice president and chief merchandising officer.
What is a audience assistance and What is that not?
Not all products that claim to help you hear better are classified as hearing aids. (Yes, it’s confusing.) Some are grouped into the categories “hearable” or personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), meaning they can increase the volume of all sounds in given environments. But the FDA says they are not “for use in diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing disease and are not intended to affect the structure or function of the body,” and are not a medical device.
“I think it’s up to retail chains to make sure they clearly differentiate over-the-counter hearing aids from PSAPs and amplifiers,” Klopper says.
The FDA has established (supposedly) consumer-friendly labeling rules for over-the-counter hearing aids, including the requirement that the outer packaging bear the “OTC” and “hearing aid” marks. Several models may also carry the “Over-the-Counter Self-Adjusting Hearing Aid” designation, such as the recently announced $1,000 in-ear Sony CRE-C10 sold on Sony’s website, as well as Amazon, Best Buy and elsewhere. .
The packages should also indicate whether a mobile device or computer is needed to help control the hearing aid, and whether the hearing aid connects, for example, via Bluetooth and/or USB-C. You can also see on the packaging if it uses a rechargeable battery, offers personalized programs and reduces background noise, as well as fine print warnings on when to see a doctor. Inside the box you should find a description of the accessories, illustrations of the operating controls and the battery compartment, technical specifications, etc.