Hearing Aids No Longer Require A Prescription

I have good news and bad news to report.

The Good News About Hearing Aids – They Are About To Dramatically Come Down in Cost While Improving In Quality

After decades of hearing aids being incredibly expensive because they required a prescription, as of early October 2022, hearing aids are now an over-the-counter product. 

So, purchasing a hearing aid no longer requires a trip to a doctor for a prescription, and the number and variety of retailers selling hearing aids are about to explode.  

And, since the market for hearing aids is exponentially expanding, manufacturers are gearing up to design and sell higher-quality hearing aids at a lower cost.  

The Bad News About Hearing Aids – No Longer Will Selective Hearing Loss Work As An Excuse When Your Spouse Gives You Chores To Do At Home

I have suffered from selective hearing loss for virtually all of my marriage. 

I married my wonderful bride more than 35 years ago, and together we raised three kids. 

However, about 34 years ago, my brain started “turning off” when my wife asked me to do “stuff” around the house.   

We don’t know why my brain turns off when my wife wants me to do something; it just happens.  

Once, my wife tried a megaphone to see if I could hear better if her words were amplified. 

It only helps a little.    

Woman with talking to her husband using a megaphone.

My wife has eagerly awaited the deregulation of hearing aids for years and has declared that one of my holiday presents will be a new fanged over-the-counter hearing aid specially designed to eliminate selective hearing loss. 

She says if I have a hearing aid, she can retire the megaphone (see above).  

From what I hear, my wife is not the only spouse threatening to purchase a hearing aid.  Apparently, this is now a “thing” among married couples.  

The Other Good News – Modern Hearing Aids Do Much More Than Make Sound Louder (For Real)

The newest generation of hearing aids utilizes artificial intelligence and computer learning to adjust the sound you will hear to match what you are doing, the sounds you want to filter out, and the patterns of your life.  Some sounds will be louder, others will be filtered out and not heard.  Yet other sounds will change in nature and quality so that they are more easily processed by the brain.  

Some new-generation hearing aids actually “learn” how to give you the best hearing experience and continuously adjust how they operate to improve the sound they deliver.  

And, right around the corner are hearing aids that will also be “universal translators.”  That means if you travel to France and are like me and don’t understand French, the hearing aid will translate what you hear from French to English.   You will be able to communicate seamlessly with anyone else with a universal translator.  Once universal translators are inexpensive, our world will change to resemble the many worlds of Star Trek.  

Picture of Admiral James T. Kirk from Star Trek holding a microphone.

Other new hearing aids hook up to your cell phone (via Bluetooth) and replace Bluetooth headphones.  You can make telephone calls with your hearing aid and listen to music or books on tape.  

All of this at lower and lower cost!!

Of course, for those of us who have selective hearing loss, none of this is “good.” 

But that is life. 

When things change, some things get better, and others result in me having to help more around the house.