Some over-the-counter sellers also provide a hearing assessment or online test.Several major retailers now offer OTC hearing aids online and on store shelves.The consumer electronics chain Best Buy has OTC hearing aids available online and in nearly 300 stores.
The company also offers an online hearing assessment, and store employees are trained on the stages of hearing loss and how to fit the devices.
Some may be hearing aids that previously required a prescription, ones that are only suitable for people with mild to moderate hearing loss.
Hearing aids approved by the FDA for sale without a prescription are required to be labeled OTC.“People really need to read the descriptions,” said Barbara Kelley, executive director of the Hearing Loss Association of America. Sheffield said hearing aids are not complicated, but wearing them also is not as simple as putting on a pair of reading glasses.“If you’ve never tried or worn hearing aids, then you might need a little bit of help,” he said.Most OTC hearing aids will cost between $500 and $1,500 for a pair, Sheffield said.