New OTC hearing aids will call out existing ear care solutions


The Trump Administration in August signed legislation mandating that devices addressing mild-to-moderate hearing loss be made available over the counter, which will create a new in-store destination center for an entire class of products once only available by prescription.

That new destination center also will call out the OTC ear care set, specifically earwax removal solutions, as a natural adjacency. “When you wear a hearing aid [your ear] tends to create more wax,” said Yann Pigeaire, director marketing at Similasan USA. “That’s going to be an area that will continuously grow. The dynamics are favorable to that.” Similasan recently augmented its ear care appeal with its Ear Wax Removal Kit, which includes a one-time use bulb to assist with removal.

In addition to Similasan realizing an ear care opportunity, hearing aid manufacturer Starkey Hearing Technologies launched its Ear Health product line, which includes solutions for earwax, earaches, itchy ears, dry ears and protecting ears from damaging sounds. This move creates a brand resonance for Starkey in the ear care aisle, which may see more hearing aid manufacturers enter the space as hearing aids indicated for mild-to-moderate hearing loss migrate into OTC sets.

“[Starkey] Ear Health products were designed to give consumers an easy way to take care of their ears,” said Chris McCormick, chief marketing officer at Starkey. “It is our hope that because of these products, we will see more people take an earlier and more proactive approach to ear and hearing health, which will in turn lead to overall improved health and wellness.”



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