Future of OTC Hearing Aids


What will happen to the Hearing Aid market now that OTC Hearing Aids will be available in the US with more affordable and accessible options than Prescription Hearing Aids? What are the opportunities and concerns?

Hearing Aids
Hearing Aid Dispensing
Hearing Loss
Dawn Houghton
39 months ago

3 answers


This should be viewed positively. SInce hearing aids will be more accessible to the public, the cost of prescription hearing aids will be more affordable and the quality would be better. This would increase the awareness of the public to go for screening for deafness of hearing impairment, will get the prescription and buy over the counter.
This is like the availability of reading eyeglasses over the counter. People will have substitute hearing aids, probably some will have 2 or more spares, they can clean the alternative hearing aids, so the availability should not be a threat but should be taken as a challenge for hearing manufacturers for better quality service and better erformance on the hearing impaired who can now access affordable hearing aids

Edna Cuaresma, MD, LlB
39 months ago
Thanks! Do you think there is any downside? - Dawn 39 months ago

The future of OTC hearing aids is quite good for patients as they can easily buy it over the counter without any prescription. Those with difficulty in hearing can buy it easily. Also, due to compitition, the price will go down.
The downside of OTC hearing aids:
Patients with hearing difficulty will directly buy it over the counter instead of consulting a doctor.
Due to high compitition the quality of the hearing aids can not be assured from various manufacturers.

Abhishek Raj
39 months ago
Another downside is the OTC hearing aid wouldn't be adjusted by a professional. - Dawn 36 months ago
Yes I agree with you Dawn. - Abhishek 36 months ago

I view this as a potentially good thing, but for an unobvious reason other than the ones already posted... there is a proven correlation between hearing loss and cognitive decline. That is, hearing loss is a precursor to cognitive decline. i don't know if the two are directly related, that is, if hearing loss is averted, cognitive loss can be prevented. However, if they are, OTC hearing aids could potentially help people at risk of cognitive decline due to hearing loss to remain more vital.

Michael Fruhling
36 months ago
Michael, good point. It is also true that while the majority of elderly have hearing loss, the majority of those with hearing loss do not use hearing aids. OTC will offer a cost benefit but will still carry the stigma and may not work as well as the dispensed hearing aids. On the other hand, having a positive experience may convince people to move to a more expensive model. - Dawn 36 months ago
I concur, Dawn - Michael 36 months ago

Have some input?