Hearing aid technology has undergone dramatic improvements to make the devices smaller and smarter than they used to be. These devices can now connect to a smartphone to not only allow users to make phone calls or receive audio from the phone, but also to interact with the phone to give the user better hearing quality depending on environmental conditions. With advances such as these, hearing aids are starting to overlap with other audio products such as portable sound amplification products and “smart” headphones.
And soon, hearing aids may be available as over-the-counter products. Currently, consumers can only obtain a hearing aid from physicians or specialists, and the devices can be very pricey. The FDA has plans to modify these regulations, and the FTC plans to address the issue in the coming months. Availability of over-the-counter hearing aids would mean easier access for individuals who need them, and more competition by manufacturers, resulting in better prices.
Graham J. Hearing aids may soon be sold over the counter. Chicago Tribune. www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/health/ct-hearing-aids-may-soon-be-sold-over-the-counter-20170131-story.html. Accessed February 24, 2017.
Advances in Hearing Aid Technology and Design. Abiline Reporter-News. http://www.reporternews.com/story/sponsor-story/2017/02/21/advances-hearing-aid-technology-and-design/98191808/. Accessed February 24, 2017.