Over the Counter Hearing Aids vs. Professionally Assisted Fittings

Now that legislation has passed allowing Over The Counter (OTC) sales of hearing aids the debate will go on until there is actual experience by consumers purchasing hearing aids on their own. We know that DIYers may prefer this method but most people will probably want some help. The audiology and hearing aid dispensing communities should not be too concerned about this. Opening price point hearing aids have been sold over the counter and online for years. They have been calling them assisted listening devices to get around FTC rules. My guess is that OTC sales will continue, no longer as a grey market, and that this will become an important avenue for consumers to get their first experience with hearing aids. Once they have hearing aids, they will eventually need more powerful and/or more sophisticated devices to meet their needs. Here is a good article about the controversy.

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