OTC’s: An AuD’s Perspective

Dec 02, 2022

I say welcome to the newly, FDA approved OTCs if they…

  • Encourage more people to accept the use of hearing aids
  • Encourage those with hearing loss to seek help. On average Americans wait and live with progressive, degenerative hearing loss for 7-8 years before seeking help.
  • Save us money and not become a useless expense. A poorly fitted hearing aid will not prevent the progressive, degenerative nature of a hearing disorder putting us at greater risk for dementia later in life (Livingston et al, 2020).
  • Encourage Medicare coverage of hearing aids by doctors similar to private insurance coverage. Once OTCs are regarded as a “Band-Aid” for the larger issue of lack of Medicare coverage.
  • Educate and maintain the public with realistic expectations of an OTC
    • Do not over generalize to the medical, grade sound processors monitored by doctors of audiology. These two very different devices under the same umbrella of hearing aids, will work differently.
    • If an OTC, did not work for you then an AuD prescribed device is needed.

Michelle L. Saltarrelli, AuD,CCC-A/SLP

Livingston, G., Huntley, J., Sommerlad, A., Ames, D., Ballard, C., Banerjee, S., Brayne, C., Burns, A., Cohen-
Mansfield, J., Cooper, C., Costafreda, S. G., Dias, A., Fox, N., Gitlin, L. N., Howard, R., Kales, H. C., Kivimäki, M., Larson, E. B., Ogunniyi, A., . . . Mukadam, N. (2020). Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission. The Lancet, 396(10248), 413–446. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0140-6736(20)30367-6