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Over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids are a new category of hearing aid devices designed to help adults with mild to moderate sensorineural hearing loss. This new category of devices was created with the aim to provide increased access to hearing aids for millions of Americans. Their advent has created significant change for hearing healthcare within the United States as they can be purchased without consulting an audiologist or medical professional.

As a result of these changes, private audiology practice owners must choose how they will react. Moving forward they must decide if they will integrate OTC hearing aids into their practices, and if they do, how that integration would work for both the practice owner/audiologist and the consumer/patient. The advantages and disadvantages of incorporating OTC hearing aids into private audiology practice are discussed along with three different models of integration that could be utilized. The hybrid model is proposed as the most advantageous option.

Little to no scholarly research on OTC hearing aids currently exists. As such, directions for future research and other needs are considered to better understand the impact that these devices will certainly have.

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