A recent article appearing on the NBC News website by Phil Galewitz with Kaiser Health News, discusses the expansion of over-the-counter hearing devices currently on the market for people with mild-to-moderate hearing loss, in the absence of FDA regulations governing the 2017 Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Law.
In addition to products offered by large consumer electronics companies like Apple and Bose, smaller companies like Eargo, Lively, and Lexie sell hearing aids online that have remote support options. Generally, over-the-counter options are less expensive than those available from an audiologist, however, there is concern that customers may be entering unknown territory with devices that aren’t adequate to treat the degree of hearing loss they have, or that underlying medical issues may go undetected without an evaluation from a professional.
“The FDA delaying regulations has done more harm than good, because the direct-to-consumer market is filling the void and people are doing what they want, and we don’t know the quality of these devices,” Barbara Kelley, executive director of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), is quoted in the article as saying.
Others see it as a gateway for people with untreated hearing issues to at least get some relief, with the potential to move to devices distributed by audiologists if his or her hearing worsens.
“The OTC and direct-to-consumer options open up avenues for those who have no other path to get hearing aids,” said Hope Lanter, an audiologist in Charlotte, North Carolina, with Hear.com, is quoted as saying.
To read the story in its entirety, please click here.
Source: NBC News