Over-the-counter hearing aids are now available! What you need to know
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - In a historic move, you can now purchase over-the-counter hearing aids without a prescription!
Experts tell 11 News this opens up so many more options for people dealing with some hearing loss, particularly those whose auditory issues weren’t considered severe enough in the past to qualify for hearing aids.
Earlier this month, 11 News’ Katie Pelton sat down with Debbie Mohney, the president of the Boulder chapter of Hearing Loss Association of America, to discuss who is a good candidate for over-the-counter hearing aids and what people should know if considering getting them. Below is their full conversation:
KATIE PELTON: TELL US ABOUT THE HEARING LOSS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA AND YOUR ROLE WITH THE BOULDER CHAPTER IN OUR STATE. YOU ARE ALSO THE COLORADO STATE CHAPTER COORDINATOR?
Debbie Mohney: “Hearing Loss Association of America, also known as HLAA, is a non-profit organization focused on consumers who have hearing loss. Their website has a wealth of information about hearing loss and technology to help people hear better, and they do a lot of advocacy to ensure that we have access to technology, including over-the-counter hearing aids.
“I’m the President of the HLAA - Boulder chapter. I do have hearing loss; I’m a consumer. We have four chapters in Colorado: Boulder, Colorado Springs, Denver and Western Colorado.”
PELTON: HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE ROLLOUT OF OVER-THE-COUNTER HEARING AIDS?
Mohney: “I’m excited because over-the-counter hearing aids mean adults with mild to moderate hearing loss will have more choices. They won’t have to see a doctor or hearing health care provider first.
“In our chapter, I’ve had people come to us with mild hearing loss; they know they aren’t hearing well, but when they go to the audiologist, they don’t have enough hearing loss to qualify for hearing aids. Access to the over-the-counter hearing aids mean that they can start using hearing aids earlier and adjust to them before their hearing loss gets worse. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to other serious illnesses, isolation and cognitive decline.
“It’s important also for consumers to learn about over-the-counter hearing aids and check for return policies before purchasing.”
PELTON: WHO WOULD THESE HELP? IS THIS MAINLY FOR FOLKS WHO HAVE MILD HEARING LOSS?
Mohney: “Over-the-counter hearing aids are aimed at people with mild to moderate hearing loss. If someone is on the fence about hearing aids, this could be a really good first step.”
PELTON: WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR FOLKS WHO MAY BE CONSIDERING THE DEVICES? DO YOU THINK THEY SHOULD SEE AN AUDIOLOGIST SPECIALIST FIRST? I’M SURE IT’S IMPORTANT TO GET THE CORRECT KIND.
Mohney: “I always urge people to see their ENT -- ear, nose and throat doctor -- and an audiologist, and it never hurts to have a baseline hearing test. If there’s something more serious going on, it’s also better to catch that, too.”
PELTON: HEARING LOSS IMPACTS A LOT OF AMERICANS. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO SOMEONE WHO MAY BE ON THE FENCE ABOUT REACHING OUT TO THEIR DOCTOR?
Mohney: “I’m a big advocate about learning all you can about hearing loss. It’s important to know that primary doctors may not know much about hearing loss, and it’s not common for doctors to ask their patients either. If you or others around you notice you’re not hearing well, it’s time to have your hearing checked out. The longer you wait, the harder it can be to do something about it. The earlier you can start getting used to hearing aids, the better.”
For more information on over-the-counter hearing aids, click here.
Copyright 2022 KKTV. All rights reserved.