II. Indications

  1. Consult Audiology before any Hearing Aid purchase

III. Background

  1. Various Hearing Aid products have been available OTC
  2. FDA Reauthorization Act (2017) allows for direct-to-consumer sales of Hearing Aids
    1. Indicated for mild Hearing Loss
    2. Best outcomes with a complete audiology evaluation and rehabilitation
  3. Crystal Ear was available as a mail order product from TechnoBrands (Comtrad) in the 1990s
    1. Linear conventional analog Hearing Aid (most simple Hearing Aid type_
    2. Weak amplification in speech range (200-6000 Hz)
    3. One-size-fits-all device (came with 2 sleeves to help fit to ear canal)
    4. Court settlement regarding false advertising
    5. Was not recommended by Medical Letter
    6. (1998) Med Lett Drugs Ther 40(1028): 62 [PubMed]

IV. Advantages

  1. Inexpensive ($200-1000 contrasted with $800-$4000)

V. Disadvantages: Direct-To_Consumer Hearing Aids

  1. May be difficult to handle and place in ear canal
    1. May not prevent acoustic feedback (occurs when air escapes ear canal)
  2. Inadequate in noisy environments
  3. Helps only a minority of persons with Hearing Loss
    1. Those with mild, flat Hearing Loss

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