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Hearing Aid Direct-To-Consumer

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Hearing Aid Direct-To-Consumer, Crystal Ear

  • See Also
  • Indications
  1. Consult Audiology before any Hearing Aid purchase
  • 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]
  • Advantages
  1. Inexpensive ($200-1000 contrasted with $800-$4000)
  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