Over the counter hearing aids (OTC HAs) is a new classification of hearing instruments for mild to moderate hearing loss. These devices are still being defined by the FDA. The FDA was tasked with developing the new category of hearing aids to help make them more accessible. As the name implies, these will be devices you can walk in and purchase without a need for programming. They will likely have some preset volume levels.
We anticipate that the FDA will provide manufacturers guidelines for developing the devices in the next year. We suspect that OTC HAs will be similar to entry-level technology from a few years ago, that is, less advanced then we have in the current technology and have some simple noise management capabilities.
These devices are not yet available; the FDA is still working the regulations. Once the guidelines for the devices are established, the industry may upgrade the current personal sound amplifying (PSAP) devices and possibly downgrade technology in some of their older devices. This will make hearing instruments more affordable and easier to access for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. Hear Well Live Well.