The New York Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection and Division of Licensing Services has released guidance to help consumers navigate the process of purchasing over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids. 

“As over-the-counter hearing aids become more readily available on store shelves, making them more affordable and accessible, it’s important for consumers to understand that shopping for these devices may not be as simple as it seems,” says Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez. “There are many factors to consider while choosing between over-the-counter and traditional prescription hearing aids, and I urge New Yorkers who are in the process of purchasing hearing aids to read our guidance to help decide which option can best serve their needs.”

In 2022, new federal regulations went into effect allowing retailers to sell hearing aids over the counter. This means consumers with mild to moderate hearing loss can now buy hearing aids in store or online without needing a prescription or formal hearing test. 

Further reading: OTC Hearing Aids Aren’t Attracting Buyers Yet

“Over-the-counter hearing aids are an option newly available for many consumers struggling with mild to moderate hearing loss,” says New York State Office for the Aging Director Greg Olsen. “As with any major purchase – especially one that may be necessary to support quality of life – it’s important to make an informed decision that suits your specific needs and expectations when it comes to fittings, maintenance, and other factors. The State’s Division of Consumer Protection has provided an exceptional resource to help, and I encourage all who are considering a hearing aid to read this new guidance.”