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OTC Hearing Aids: Entry-Level Devices for the Hearing Impaired

Otofonix Hearing Aids

When people are hearing impaired, they usually assume they need traditional prescription hearing aids. However, this is not necessarily the case. Hearing aids can be costly. Some older adults try to avoid wearing them because they perceive them as a reminder of aging. Having trouble hearing certain sounds does not always mean a person will automatically need to wear a prescription hearing aid. Over the counter hearing aids are like an entry-level device for those who are hearing impaired.


Electronic devices called OTC hearing aids offer many of the same benefits as prescription hearing aids at a fraction of the cost. Hearing aid devices range in products from pocket-size devices that amplify sound, to more sophisticated earpieces that offer similar noise-canceling, sound-enhancing technologies as traditional prescription hearing aids.

Hearing Daily Sounds

These products allow users the capability of communicating in loud restaurants, listening to the TV without having the volume at painful decibels, and some can even offer Bluetooth properties so users can listen to music or answer phone calls directly through the earpiece.

How Do OTC Hearing Aids Differ from Prescription Hearing Aids?

Although OTC hearing aids have similar properties, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cautions consumers not to substitute these devices for traditional prescription hearing aids. Over the counter hearing aids can enhance the sound at low volume or distance, however, they are not intended for those with seriously impaired hearing.

Explore Treatable Conditions

Substituting OTC hearing aids for prescription hearing aids when you have hearing loss can lead to more damage by delaying your diagnosis of a potentially treatable condition. If you do suspect any loss of hearing, have your hearing evaluated by a doctor. In some instances, treatment could be as simple as removing wax buildup.

Don’t Skip the Hearing Test

hearing testThere are many signs that signal hearing loss. These signs include having to strain to hear, turning the volume up on the TV or radio louder than most people, only being able to hear out of one ear, and asking people to repeat themselves often because you can’t hear them.

Hearing Evaluated

Although these signs don’t necessarily mean you need a hearing aid, you should still get tested by a medical professional (ENT doctor) rather than letting something go untreated. The issue could be simple or more serious, so it is always a good idea to have your hearing evaluated.

Types of Hearing Devices

Hearing aids come in a variety of different units. The choice is based on the user’s preferences and budget. No prescription is required to purchase an over the counter hearing aid, making it a convenient and budget-conscious choice. Consider the various types of hearing devices currently on the market.

Pocket Talkers

Pocket Talkers have been around for many years. A Pocket Talker is a move-able unit, approximately the size of a pack of cards, which fits in your pocket with an attached microphone that transmits sound signals to someone wearing earphones. These devices are great for a short-term basis when those with difficulty hearing are in a one-on-one situation. They are handy for rehabilitation centers, so those with trouble hearing can communicate with nurses and doctors when they need to.

Ear ‘Readers’

Online, these devices are often marked as “readers for your ears.” However, this claim is misleading. Hearing does not work like vision. There is not a device or surgery that restores your hearing like glasses, or LASIK can restore your vision to 20/20. These cheaper devices are not recommended for loud places. They do work adequately if you are sitting in the comfort of your home. They can be used to listen for the phone or have a quiet conversation with someone.

Other Hearing Aids

Audiologists usually recommend OTC hearing devices that work like prescription hearing aids because they offer the most benefits. These types of hearing aids offer multiple channels. They are used for varying noise-canceling environments, the ability to adjust signals, directional microphones, and much more. These products can also have the bonus of Bluetooth technology to connect to your phone. This is something traditional prescription hearing aids typically do not do.

Otofonix Personal Hearing Aid

otofonix hearing aidOtofonix offers an innovative hearing aid that is designed to look like a traditional prescription hearing aid. They have multiple channels, background noise reduction, feedback canceling, and many more benefits. Review the details about this cutting-edge product to determine if it is a viable option.
Although Otofonix hearing aids can help you hold off on expensive prescription hearing aids, make sure to have your hearing evaluated first. A hearing evaluation can help you determine the best type of device for you. An Otofonix hearing aid can put daily sounds within earshot. You will be able to hear during meetings, television shows, and visits with loved ones.

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The ApexThe EliteThe EncoreThe Helix
per ear
per ear
per ear
pairs only
dB Gain35 dB35 dB42 dB53 dB
4 Channels - WDRC
Channels separate the incoming sound signal into discrete frequency ranges that analyze, process and maximize speech understanding and sound quality.
12 Bands
Similar to an equalizer on a stereo allowing sounds in certain frequencies to be selectively amplified.
Listening programs allow you to optimize your hearing device for different listening conditions
Digital Sound Processor
The DSP is the heart of the digital circuitry and is responsible for many features such as sound quality, noise reduction and feedback cancellation not available on analog units.
2nd Gen3rd Gen3rd Gen3rd Gen
FDA Registered
White not required for personal sound devices, the FDA designation insures that these devices have passed the same safety regulations as hearing aids.
Background Noise Reduction
Advanced noise reduction intelligently ensures taht conversation remains clear in noisy environments for improved hearing.
Rocker Switch
Rocker switch conveniently allows you to change programs and volumn levels either up or down.
Dual Directional Microphone
Dual directional microphones employ a front and rear microphone to improve your ability to focus on the conversation in front of you and selectively reduce or eliminate background noise around you.
Telecoil allows you to hear better and cleaner on compatible telephones or connected to a loop system
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