Consumer Alert: Be cautious when purchasing over-the-counter hearing aids.
A recent 2021 press release from the Texas Academy of Audiology and State Attorney General Ken Paxton warn Texans to be cautious when considering buying from companies selling over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids for many reasons, and Dr. Shannon Parker agrees!
Many hearing devices sold online or by mail order are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are deceptively marketed as medical hearing devices when they contain low-quality amplifiers. Some companies will deceptively state that they are “registered” to imply that the FDA has endorsed or approved them, but it has not!
Most of these devices are only appropriate for people with minimal hearing loss in quiet environments (this is not representative of most patients' lifestyle).
We’re hoping the attention from the release of OTC devices will actually encourage consumers to pursue a hearing screening and recommendation from a hearing professional who can tell you what type of hearing device will work best for you.
Before purchasing, research the seller with the Better Business Bureau. Read online reviews and endorsements skeptically unless you know and trust the source – like your local audiologist.
The press release asks Texans to please report suspected deceptive marketing to the Texas Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by calling toll-free 1-800-621-0508 or by filing an online complaint at https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/consumer-protection/file-consumer-complaint.
Trust the Experts
Audiologists are the experts in hearing health. Hearing aids are not always the only or recommended solution, which is why it is important to see an audiologist to further determine the appropriate treatment. Sometimes the cause is temporary or a symptom of another illness or disease. An audiologist will run various tests to determine the cause and most appropriate treatment approach.
For more information about hearing loss or to schedule an appointment for a screening, contact us at Compass Hearing Center in Denver City, Texas. If we aren’t near your home, the Academy represents more than 14,000 audiologists across the country and has an extensive “Find an Audiologist” directory, where consumers can locate audiologists based on geography and specialty areas.