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OTC Hearing Aids & Your Pharmacy
With nearly 30 million Americans who can benefit from hearing aids, the FDA’s landmark decision to allow for OTC hearing aids is an excellent opportunity to help people in your community. Helping will mean more than simply stocking the devices though. In order to be effective in this new field, you should learn all you can about the devices and how best to help your customers, before you start selling them.
The first and perhaps the most important skill to learn, is how to recognize hearing loss. Signs like people needing information repeated, close watching of your mouth while talking, or always leaning in closer to listen are some obvious signs. There are also online hearing tests you can administer yourself if you want to be able to help assess a customer’s need for hearing aids.
It’s also important to build a relationship with local audiologists for times when the reason for hearing loss may be unclear or related to more serious conditions. While OTC hearing aids will be helpful for many, there’s a responsibility you have to ensure you’re not ignoring a more serious medical condition than simple hearing loss that needs to be addressed.
As is the case with any product, but especially with hearing aids, it’s critical you know the products you’re selling so you can guide people to the right one for them. Some hearing aids require smartphones for activation and to control features which may not be feasible for older customers who don’t have smartphones or aren’t tech savvy enough to access critical functions. By knowing the products you’re selling intimately, you can help patients more fully and build trust with your customers that you care about finding the best products for them.
There’s also an online course you can take to recognize signs of hearing loss and assess a patient’s needs and selection of hearing devices right here.
You can also read more about the subject from PBAHealth.com