With the detrimental 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 crucial 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 aren’t doctors and don’t have to be licensed to sell an OTC hearing aid. 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 hearing aids are designed for a “one size fits all” model, so the OTC retailers cannot provide any customization for a consumer’s particular hearing care requirements.
All that being said, the emergence of OTC hearing aids makes the need for highly trained and skilled audiologists, like those at Center of Healing and Balance, 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.
The thing that defines Center for Hearing and Balance 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, understand, and adapt to our specific patients’ needs. We stay up to date with the latest technological developments and share them with our patients with the intent of improving your lives. We remain steadfast in our pursuit of treating our patients like family while providing an intentional patient experience.