How to Avoid OTC Hearing Aid Scams
Hearing loss affects millions of people across the country, and most put off seeking treatment right away—for a variety of reasons. One of the most common is affordability. The cost of hearing aids doesn’t always make them easily accessible for everyone, which is why the FDA approving the sale of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids is a huge win for people experiencing changes in their hearing.
Unlike traditional hearing aids, OTC hearing aids don’t require you to make an appointment with a hearing care professional. Since they’re not as powerful as their traditional counterparts and are intended for those with mild to moderate or situational hearing loss, OTC hearing aids could be a more affordable option.
However, with the rise of OTC hearing aids, there has also been an increase in scams and sub-par products that can do more harm than good.
If you’re shopping for an OTC hearing aid, make sure to ask these questions:
1. Are you purchasing a reputable OTC hearing aid product?
The first step in avoiding OTC hearing aid scams is to ensure that you are purchasing a reputable product that’s gone through testing and is backed by research. Look for products that have been approved by the FDA and have a good reputation in the market. If you’ve never heard of the product before, go online and check reviews and ratings to get an idea of its quality and effectiveness.
2. Do the OTC hearing aids let you customize sound settings beyond volume?
Another important factor to consider when purchasing an OTC hearing aid is the ability to customize sound settings beyond volume. A good OTC hearing aid should allow you to adjust the sound settings to suit your specific hearing needs. This includes adjusting the bass, treble and other sound settings to improve the clarity and quality of sound as you encounter different listening situations.
3. Is the price of the OTC hearing aids in line with similar products?
The price of the OTC hearing aid should also be in line with similar products on the market. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Scammers often lure people in with low prices and then provide low-quality products that do not work as advertised. In this case, you get what you pay for.
4. Does the company make any lofty or unsubstantiated claims?
Be wary of companies that make lofty or unsubstantiated claims about their products. If a company claims that their product can cure hearing loss or provide instant and complete relief, it is likely a scam. Hearing loss is a complex problem that often requires professional treatment, and there is no instant cure.
5. Are the OTC hearing aids made by a reputable and trusted brand?
Choose a reputable and trusted brand when purchasing an OTC hearing aid. Look for brands that have been in the audio or hearing industry for a long time and have a good reputation for quality and effectiveness. Ask for recommendations from friends and family members who have used OTC hearing aids, and take a look at established hearing aid companies like Beltone who offer an OTC product in addition to their traditional hearing aids.
6. Do the OTC hearing aids have a clear return policy or offer a trial period?
Check the return policy and trial period before purchasing an OTC hearing aid. A good company should offer a trial period or return policy of at least 30 days, during which you can test the product and return it if it does not meet your expectations. Make sure to read the fine print and understand the terms and conditions of the return policy before making a purchase. If the product doesn’t include any such policy, it’s best to find one that does.
7. Do the OTC hearing aids include a warranty from the manufacturer?
A good OTC hearing aid should come with a warranty that covers manufacturing defects and other issues. Make sure to check the warranty period and what it covers before making a purchase. A good warranty can provide peace of mind and protect your investment.
Don’t settle if you’re not sure you’re making the right choice.
If you are still not sure about which OTC hearing aid to purchase, consider scheduling a free hearing assessment with a Beltone hearing care professional. Beltone is a trusted brand that has been making hearing aids for over 80 years and has a reputation for quality and effectiveness. A Beltone hearing care professional can help you choose the right hearing aid for your specific needs and provide ongoing support and care.
OTC hearing aids can be a great option for people experiencing mild hearing loss and who cannot afford traditional hearing aids. However, it is important to be aware of scams and fraudulent products. By following the tips outlined in this blog post, you can avoid OTC hearing aid scams and choose a product that meets your needs and improves your hearing experience.