Do I need a Prescription for Hearing Aids...some folks say non perscription
We always advise a prospective hearing aid user consult with a licensed ENT before buying a hearing aid online...because you need to know if you have one of the following conditions:
(i) Visible congenital or traumatic deformity of the ear.
(ii) History of active drainage from the ear within the previous 90 days.
(iii) History of sudden or rapidly progressive hearing loss within the previous 90 days.
(iv) Acute or chronic dizziness.
(v) Unilateral hearing loss of sudden or recent onset within the previous 90 days.
(vi) Audiometric air-bone gap equal to or greater than 15 decibels at 500 hertz (Hz), 1,000 Hz, and 2,000 Hz.
(vii) Visible evidence of significant cerumen accumulation or a foreign body in the ear canal.
(viii) Pain or discomfort in the ear.
If you have any of these need to stay with with the ENT - they are best suited to help you manage these ear-health issues. Online sellers could only make these issues worse.
Ok, lets say you do not have any of the above... Then the ENT will then conduct a hearing aid test to assess your ability to hear. the ENT will give you a written statement - or an audiogram - that states that your hearing loss has been medically evaluated and that you may be considered a candidate for a hearing aid.
Here is the point where you can start shopping for hearing aids.
The second part of this "Do I need Prescription for hearing aids?" is actually getting your hands on the Audiogram or hearing Test.
Here is the law...
Providers and health insurers who comply with HIPPA are actually required to provide your medical records - including audiograms.
In most cases, your copies must be given to you within 30 days, but this can be extended for another 30 days if you are given a reason.
You may have to pay for the cost of copying and mailing if you request copies and mailing.
Who must follow this law?
Most doctors, audiologists, nurses, pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and many other health care providers Health insurance companies, HMOs, most employer group health plans
Important note- Most Audiologists will not give you the audiograms - (because they know if you leave the audiogram, so is does the sale.
The only problem with Audiologists follow HIPPA rules are - there is no law in place to force them turn it over
This is a brief summary of your rights and protections under the federal health information privacy law. You can ask your provider or health insurer questions about how your health information is used or shared and about your rights. You also can learn more, including how to file a complaint with the U.S. Government, at the website at
Having said all this above........Federal law permits a fully informed adult to sign a waiver statement declining the medical evaluation for religious or personal beliefs that preclude consultation with a physician.
And....if for some reason lets say you want to by pass all the appointments and and hearing tests....lets say you know you have hearing loss, you have hearing aids now, or you just started recognizing some loss or you your wife/husband said you need to do something about it...or the person who took the test refused to give it to you.....
There are many non prescription hearing aids on the market today, where some companies call them "Assisted Listening Devices" or "PSAPs" or "Personal Sound Amplifiers".... that can satisfy someone with mild to moderate to moderate to severe high frequency hearing losses.
These non prescription hearing aids are pre-programmed and will offer an "close fit" for the usual downward ski-slope high frequency hearing losses that commonly affect the aging ear. And most of these non prescription hearing aids come with a manual volume control -- this is strongly suggested with Assisted Listening Devices or PSAPs. Just a note: they may not be perfectly tuned to your exact hearing loss, but they are often close enough to offer you better hearing at a significantly reduced price and without going through the process of getting a hearing test. And....where the manual volume control can take care of those days when you need more gain or less.