In 2022, the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act was enacted, officially making over-the-counter hearing aids a category. This has opened up a new market for hearing aids that can be purchased without a prescription or a visit to an audiologist. While this may seem like a convenient option, it is essential to be careful when purchasing hearing aids online. Should you buy hearing aids on Amazon?
- Many hearing products for sale on Amazon use deceptive sales tactics, calling themselves hearing aids or OTC hearing aids without actually meeting FDA criteria to do so.
- Amazon has a problem with counterfeit products, which means that one could end up buying illegitimate hearing aids only to get a cheap knockoff.
- While there are options for purchasing over-the-counter hearing aids online, it is recommended to buy them from a reputable retailer or a local hearing aid clinic that can provide in-clinic support.
- Buy from known brands Sony, Lexie, Jabra, and Soundwave.
There has been a significant increase in the availability of cheap and counterfeit hearing aids on Amazon, which is often marketed as hearing aids or over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids. These products do not meet the FDA’s criteria for hearing aids and may cause more harm than good. If your hearing aid cost less than $200, it is likely a piece of junk (just my professional opinion).
In this article, we will discuss the risks of purchasing hearing aids on Amazon and provide alternative options for buying hearing aids online.
The Risks of Buying Hearing Aids on Amazon
A simple search for OTC hearing aids on Amazon yields 230 search results. However, the vast majority of devices in these search results are not hearing aids at all but instead PSAP devices. Consumer Affairs published an article reporting that many hearing products for sale on Amazon were using deceptive sales tactics, essentially calling their products hearing aids or OTC hearing aids without meeting the FDA’s criteria.
Despite Amazon’s efforts to eliminate counterfeit products, the platform still has a massive problem with counterfeit products, which can easily fool consumers into buying illegitimate hearing aids. Purchasing these products can put your hearing health at risk and can even lead to further hearing loss.
Alternatives for Buying Hearing Aids Online
If you are looking to purchase prescription hearing aids, you can shop online at such places as ZipHearing and see their prices. But it is likely best to a local hearing care professional after receiving a comprehensive hearing evaluation. It is impossible to properly fit and program a set of prescription hearing aids purchased online because real ear measurements can only be performed inside a hearing aid clinic. Websites like ZipHearing and HearBetter allow you to buy hearing aids online but then have you fit at a local clinic.
However, if you are looking to purchase over-the-counter hearing aids, buying them online from a reputable retailer is a good option. Legitimate FDA-approved over-the-counter hearing aids are hitting the market in 2023 from companies like Sony, Lexie, Jabra, and Soundwave. I recommend that it is essential to purchase over-the-counter hearing aids directly from the hearing aid manufacturer’s own website. I would recommend you first read a lot of reviews and guides so you know ahead of time what you are purchasing.
In conclusion, buying hearing aids on Amazon can be risky due to the prevalence of counterfeit and misleading products. To ensure that you are purchasing legitimate hearing aids, it is best to buy from a reputable retailer or directly from the manufacturer. If you are not sure which over-the-counter hearing aids are most appropriate for you, you can reach out to a hearing aid expert for assistance. Remember, your hearing health is too important to leave to chance. Be careful when purchasing hearing aids online to avoid getting ripped off like thousands of other people before you.