(CBS DETROIT) – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued a consumer alert to urge consumers to be aware of misleading sales tactics being used to sell over-the-counter hearing aids, especially online or by mail.

Since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) relaxed restrictions on the sale of over-the-counter hearing aids in 2017, many companies have entered the market.

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The products being sold are often Personal Sound Amplification Products (PSAP), not FDA-approved medical devices.

“Consumers must remain proactive because, as we have seen time and time again, what looks like a good deal is not always a legitimate one,” Nessel said. “My office is committed to holding companies that use these deceptive practices accountable. If you’ve fallen victim to these tactics, contact my office immediately.”

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These sellers often grab consumers’ attention by advertising these products for much cheaper than what traditional hearing aids cost.

According to the FDA, these companies mark the products as “FDA-registered” to show FDA approval, but this is not the same as a product being an FDA-approved product.

Before purchasing over-the-counter hearing aids, keep the following in mind:

  • The FDA has not approved any over-the-counter hearing aids. Over-the-counter hearing aids are not regulated and may simply be PSAP, which may be of poor quality and not work for those with hearing loss.
  • Research, the seller on the Better Business Bureau website or another objective consumer review site.
  • Consider getting a hearing screening and opinion from a hearing specialist who can tell you whether an over-the-counter hearing device will work for you.
  • Remember, if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

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