OTC hearing aids are still not FDA approved but our team is working hard to learn and prepare for them so we can better educate you on your hearing aid options. See bellow videos of Dr. Egan explaining the OTC hearing aid process and her review of a PSAP, or personal sound amplifier, which is essentially a non-regulated device that may become an OTC hearing aid once legislation passes.
PSAPs and OTC Hearing Aids
A Message from Our Team
Nuheara IQ buds Review
Hi, I’m Anne Marie Egan, the Audiologist at Now Hear This and today I’m giving you a review of the Nuheara IQ buds. These are a PSAP, or a personal sound amplifier, so they are designed for people with some hearing difficulty, who don’t technically have a significant hearing loss. It comes in a box that looks like this. The box has a manual, the devices, the charger, as well as some rubber ear tips. You can see they have quite a variety to choose from. I selected the size small. Some of these get pretty big. Working with ear tips in clinic all day, I can assure you that most people are never going to use some of these larger sizes. I’m not quite sure what they were thinking. The charger looks like this. It’s pretty sleek! It can charge on the go and needs to be charged every once in a while, into a wall outlet. It includes a cord, but it does not include a charging block, so that would be something you would have to get on your own if that is something you need. The devices themselves look like this. One of my complaints would be that it’s kind of bulky. If I put them in my ear, that takes up quite a lot of space and I have pretty average looking ear shapes. So, that’s definitely something to consider. They’re a lot larger than the average air pod, or other widgets you might put in your ear, but they work pretty well. You have to have a smart phone in order to use these, so that’s a con if you don’t have a smartphone. They do connect very easily to the phone. You download an app. The app has quite a lot of features, so if you’re someone who’s into tech who’s kind of savvy with those things and wants to play with them, then this could be a good fit for you. If you’re someone who struggles to learn some of those new things, then this probably isn’t the best product for that particular need. But the app is great. Another huge perk compared to the Bose self-fitting hearing aid is that it can stream from your smart phone directly to you ears. So, you can have the environmental sound boosted, you can have your smartphone boosted, you can get good quality streaming. I didn’t see any issues there and that was great. As far as they went for hearing the sound environment, I definitely noticed that I was able to get a boost in the soft high pitches, which is where we most commonly lose our hearing as we continue to live. I did have to get used to that boom-y sound quality that comes with fully plugging your ear up. Different devices that have a little more natural airflow make your voice sound a little bit better. I did notice with these I had a hard time regulating the volume of my voice in the beginning. Overall, I think they are a very good value for the cost. We purchased these at $500 when we ordered them and compared to the Bose self-fitting hearing aid, which cost several hundred more, if you are someone who is tech savvy, this might be a much better fit for you. If you’re someone where your voice sound quality is important to you, then a different device is better for that need.
Overall, I think my biggest concern is that they do have a kind of “hearing test” in the app and that doesn’t provide as reliable results than in a sound booth when things are calibrated by an engineer, so I wouldn’t trust the programming of doing it through the app. I would still definitely want to make sure that my hearing was tested first and that I’m truly a candidate for this borderline, entry level device before moving forward and investing $500 in it. They do only have a 30-day trial period as well. Most hearing devices come with at least a 60-day trial period and so that’s another limitation of getting used to new technology when you’re under a time crunch. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to our clinic, and as always, have a wonderful rest of your day!
Executive Order on OTC Hearing Aids
On July 9th, 2021, President Biden passed an executive order allowing over-the-counter hearing aids (OTC) to be sold as newly regulated devices for adults with perceived mild to moderate hearing loss. A person with moderate to profound hearing loss still needs to seek the services of a hearing health care provider and the proper technology to improve the patient’s listening needs.
Basically, President Biden has allowed for the invention of the “reader glasses” version of hearing aids for people who have a mild hearing loss.
Read more information here!
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Hear From Our Patients
“Having been in healthcare for over 30 years and raising 5 children I have needed the care of dozens of Dr’s and healthcare offices. I have visited and consulted with Drs and staff in multiple states as a consultant and provider. Dr Egan and the staff at Now Hear This in Raleigh are superb! Her personal attention and caring attitude is a model for all Drs. I encourage anyone that reads this review to accept nothing but the best in healthcare. Be sure to visit her before making any decisions regarding you or your family’s hearing needs. Thanks for my great care!”
– Dr. Anthony DeLuke