What you need to know about Over-The-Counter (OTC) hearing aids

With the landmark decision of the FDA to approve Over-The-Counter (OTC) hearing aid sales without a prescription to consumers suffering from mild to moderate hearing loss, it’s imperative to remember one important question, how does someone know they’re suffering with mild to moderate hearing loss?

While any consumer, starting in October 2022, can buy an OTC hearing aid without a hearing exam, the critical element to remember is that OTC retailers can only sell a device, that’s it. 

OTC retailers are not doctors and do not have to be licensed to sell an OTC. They cannot perform hearing exams or offer alternative treatments should a consumer be suffering from something more severe than mild to moderate hearing loss. OTC retailers do not offer long term care in the form of clean and checks, and because OTCs are designed for a “one size fits all” model, they cannot provide any customization for a consumer's particular hearing care requirements. 

OTCs are a transactional operation relying on the due diligence of the end consumer to fully understand the complexity of their potential hearing loss and subsequent hearing care needs. 

All that being said, the emergence of OTCs makes the need for highly trained and skilled audiologists, like those at Kalady Audiology, that much more relevant. Audiologists are health care professionals who diagnose, manage, and treat hearing, balance, or other additional ear problems, for their patients.

Audiologists determine the severity and type of hearing loss a patient has and develop a plan for treatment. Audiologists counsel patients, manage hearing loss prevention programs, assist patients with the management of tinnitus, and can design educational plans for patients of all ages.

Audiologists can even help determine if a hearing device is necessary for a patient. Audiologists can diagnose, treat, or make referrals to fellow physicians when it comes to inner ear related issues such as ear wax build up, fluid behind the eardrum, sinus infections or ear infections.

Google Review - Carl McDaniel

The last two pairs of hearing aids that I purchased from a big box retailer simply did not provide the quality of life that I expected. I went for another hearing test at the retailer and the lady said there is no reason to give you a hearing test. You need to go to Medical University of South Carolina and get a cochlear implant.
Instead, I decided to go to Kalady Audiology. After a hearing test, Dr Kalady said, "You don't need a cochlear implant, you need the right hearing aids." I can't tell you how dramatically my hearing has improved. I put on my old aids the other day just for a test. I couldn't understand the conversation at 6 feet. I quickly changed to my new hearing aids and my comprehension was excellent! I will never go to any place but Kaladyfor hearing aids.

The thing that defines Kalady Audiology as a premiere audiology practice in our area, is our ability to provide quality patient experiences. Our relationships with our patients are a long-term commitment that we continue to acknowledge and understand and adapt to our specific patients’ needs. 

We stay up to date with the latest technological developments and share them with our patients with the intent of improving your lives. We remain steadfast in our pursuit of treating our patients like family while providing a bespoke patient experience.

Meg Kalady, Au.D.

Audiologist | Dr. Cliff Approved Provider

Dr. Meg Kalady is from the Philadelphia suburbs and has been practicing audiology for the last 30 years. She completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, and she received her doctorate in audiology in 2012 from AT Still University.

Read more about Dr. Kalady

american speech language hearing associationcenter for accreditation in occupational hearing conservationamerican academy of audiologyhearing loss association

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