With the landmark decision of the FDA to approve Over-The-Counter (OTC) hearing aid sales without a prescription to consumers suffering from mild to moderate hearing loss, it’s imperative to remember one important question, how does someone know they’re suffering with mild to moderate hearing loss?
While any consumer, starting in October 2022, can buy an OTC hearing aid without a hearing exam, the critical element to remember is that OTC retailers can only sell a device, that’s it.
OTC retailers are not doctors and do not have to be licensed to sell an OTC. They cannot perform hearing exams or offer alternative treatments should a consumer be suffering from something more severe than mild to moderate hearing loss. OTC retailers do not offer long term care in the form of clean and checks, and because OTCs are designed for a “one size fits all” model, they cannot provide any customization for a consumers particular hearing care requirements.
OTCs are a transactional operation relying on the due diligence of the end consumer to fully understand the complexity of their potential hearing loss and subsequent hearing care needs.
All that being said, the emergence of OTCs makes the need for highly trained and skilled audiologists, like those at Bay Area Audiology, that much more relevant. Audiologists are health care professionals who diagnose, manage, and treat hearing, balance, or other additional ear problems, for their patients. Audiologists determine the severity and type of hearing loss a patient has and develop a plan for treatment. Audiologists counsel patients, manage hearing loss prevention programs, assist patients with the management of tinnitus, and can design educational plans for patients of all ages.
Audiologists can even help determine if a hearing device is necessary for a patient. Audiologists can diagnose, treat, or make referrals to fellow physicians when it comes to inner ear related issues such as ear wax build up, fluid behind the eardrum, sinus infections or ear infections.
Our patient, Joyce H. said: “I have been a patient at Bay Area Audiology for 3+ years. Dr. Muth is very knowledgeable and has guided me in a positive direction to help me with my hearing deficit. I get very good care, am not rushed when I go for an appointment and feel very comfortable if I have a problem or question. This was all new to me 3+ years ago and today using my hearing aids is second nature. I don’t think I would have felt this comfortable without the support I received from Bay Area Audiology. Thanks Dr. Muth and support staff.“
The thing that defines Bay Area Audiology as a premiere audiology practice in our area, is our ability to provide quality patient experiences. Our relationships with our patients are a long-term commitment that we continue to acknowledge and understand and adapt to our specific patients’ needs. We stay up to date with the latest technological developments and share them with your patients with the intent of improving your lives. We remain steadfast in our pursuit of treating our patients like family while providing a bespoke patient experience.