Young woman wearing a hearing aid

Over-the-Counter (OTC) hearing aids are now available directly to consumers.
They are intended for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss.

Considering OTC Hearing Aids?

HLAA’s OTC Tip Sheet Can Help

View Tip Sheet print-friendly PDF

What is “mild to moderate” hearing loss?

You may have mild to moderate hearing loss if…
  • You have trouble understanding conversations in groups, with background noise, or when you can’t see who is talking.
  • You have trouble hearing on the telephone.
  • You need to turn up the volume of television, or radio loud enough for others to complain.
  • Your friends or family complain that you don’t understand speech, and ask them to repeat often.
OTC may NOT help you if…
  • You also have trouble hearing conversations in quiet environments.
  • You also have trouble hearing loud sounds like power tools, or motor vehicles.

If you experience these, you should see a hearing care professional.

Important questions to ask about OTC hearing aids
  • Is there a free trial period, or money back return policy?
  • Does it need a smartphone, app, or computer to install, operate, and customize to my needs?
  • Is it compatible with cellphones, or smartphones?
  • Does it have connectivity via Bluetooth, or telecoil to a smartphone, computer, or listening system?
  • Can the hearing aid’s amplification be adjusted?
  • Is it water/sweat resistant?
  • How does it control, reduce, or block out background, or wind noise?
  • How long is the battery life? Can it be recharged?
Other Considerations
  • Pay attention to package warnings. If you have pain, sudden hearing changes, or dizziness, see a doctor.
  • It may take time to adjust to hearing devices.
  • If the first hearing aid doesn’t work, keep trying, and you may want to seek the help of a hearing care professional to advise you.

You’re not alone!

Millions of people have hearing loss, and you’re taking an important first step to address yours.

HLAA’s community of support is here to help.

Join an HLAA Chapter near you.