Currently in the U.S. hearing aids can only be purchased through a licensed hearing specialist. This can place a hardship on those on limited incomes. With growing evidence that adequate hearing is essential to maintaining cognitive performance, recent tightly controlled research has shown several over-the-counter personal hearing assistance devices performed nearly as well as conventional hearing aids costing thousands more! New regulatory classifications are being considered.
PositiveTip: If you find yourself avoiding conversations because you cannot hear well--you should to seek professional hearing advice.