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Consumer Alert: Be Aware When Buying Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids

Friday, May 17, 2024

This month marks Hearing Loss Awareness Month. More than 1.2 million North Carolinians have some form of hearing loss and hearing aids can help amplify sounds to hear better. In 2017, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) relaxed restrictions on the sale of hearing aids, making it easier for people to purchase them over the counter. However, as with all good things, scammers will try to take advantage of vulnerable people.

If you are in the market for hearing aids, look out for suspicious companies pushing over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids that do not comply with FDA regulations and other misleading advertisements. Check out our tips to help protect yourself and get quality hearing aids:

  • Be skeptical of websites that tout deals for OTC hearing aids that seem too good to be true.
  • Only look into OTC hearing aids if you are 18 or older and have perceived mild to moderate hearing loss. OTC hearing aids have limited maximum output, so they are not appropriate for severe or profound hearing loss.
  • Do your research before you purchase. You can always check out the Better Business Bureau or other objective consumer review sites before purchasing. If a company has an “F” rating or several customers have had bad experiences, then beware of buying.
  • Make sure the device you are planning to purchase complies with the FDA’s packaging requirements regarding warnings, when to seek health care services or medical advice, the company’s contact information, and the manufacturer’s return policy.
  • Don’t give out your personal or financial information to any company that contacts you first. Always be skeptical and look into a company.

If you believe you may have been the victim of a scam, call our office at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or file a complaint online at