Over-the-counter hearing aids give hearing specialists pause

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(ABC 6 News) – Over-the-counter hearing aids have been on shelves since mid-October, after the Food and Drug Administration authorized them in August. ABC 6 News sat down with a hearing aid specialist to go over some common misconceptions.

President Biden pushed the FDA to authorize over the counter hearing aids hoping to provide a lower-cost option for people with hearing loss. While prescription hearing aids can cost thousands of dollars, over the counter hearing aids cost hundreds.

“It’s a great option for people that can’t afford things,” said Paul Schneider, a healthcare provider at HearingLife in Rochester. “The unfortunate-ness is that most people that are really struggling with their hearing, it’s just not going to help them. You might be over-amplifying certain sounds and under-amplifying others.”

Schneider says by the time people notice they need help with hearing, they likely will need a stronger prescription.

The FDA says the over-the-counter option is great for mild hearing loss. For example, people who have a hard time understanding the TV, or conversations in a noisy room.

More information about hearing aids can be found here.