Over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids are a category of hearing aids that individuals can buy without medical examination and hearing evaluation by an audiologist. These hearing aids are designated for consumers who are over 18 years of age and have a mild to moderate degree of hearing loss. Unlike traditional prescription hearing aids, OTC hearing aids are lower technology and set up by the consumer. OTC hearing aids are designed to be lower cost which allows access to amplification to consumers that may have been financially limited in the past. OTC hearing aids are NOT meant for individuals who have: hearing loss in only one ear, sudden recent hearing loss, ringing or roaring in the ears, pain in the ears, and a severe degree of hearing loss.

Traditional prescription hearing aids are fit by licensed Doctors of Audiology or hearing aid dispensers that have training in the areas of hearing loss and hearing aids. These hearing aids require a hearing evaluation and are specially programmed by frequency to aid an individual’s hearing loss. They also have advanced technology that can help individuals who struggle in complex situation such as hearing in background noise. Prescription hearing aids are meant for patients for all ages and all types of hearing loss.

In our clinic, patients meet with a Doctor of Audiology for a hearing test and hearing aid consultation. At this appointment, the patient’s degree of hearing loss and listening goals are discussed to choose a hearing aid that is best suited for the patient’s hearing loss. Often patients may try on one or two different types of hearing aids to ensure they are confident in their choice prior to purchase. We also check patients’ insurance at this appointment so they are aware if there is a benefit that can be used towards the cost of the hearing aid. If you are interested in scheduling a hearing test and hearing aid consultation, please call Alexandria Hearing Centers at (703) 372-9792.