During Better Hearing and Speech Month, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is issuing this urgent consumer alert to warn consumers to beware of companies selling cheap and phony hearing devices.
Dozens of companies have entered the over-the-counter hearing aid market since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) relaxed restrictions on the sales of hearing aids in 2017. Many of the products sold by these companies are actually Personal Sound Amplification Products (PSAP), not FDA-approved medical devices.
Sellers of these phony products often entice consumers via websites advertising deals for much less than what a traditional FDA-approved hearing aid would cost. According to a bulletin issued by the FDA, these companies often market their products as being "FDA registered" to imply FDA approval, but a registered product is not an FDA-approved product.
The best way to ensure your hearing aid is legitimate is to seek guidance from a medical professional.
Before purchasing over-the-counter hearing aids, keep the following in mind:
The FDA has not approved any over-the-counter hearing aids. Over-the-counter hearing aids are not regulated and may simply be PSAP which may be of poor quality and not work for those with hearing loss.
Research the seller on the Better Business Bureau website or another objective consumer review site.
Consider getting a hearing screen and opinion from a hearing specialist who can tell you whether an over-the-counter hearing device will work for you.
Remember, if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.