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Over-the-counter hearing aids are now available in the US

Now millions of hearing impaired individuals can get help without a costly prescription.

hearing aid in-ear
Image: Unsplash

Over-the-counter hearing aids are finally available here in the United States. After FDA approval in August, the new rule has gone into effect, and people over 18 no longer need a hearing aid prescription.

The final rule issued by the FDA approves over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids for adults with “mild-to-moderate” hearing loss. The White House released a statement outlining the new OTC hearing aid rules this week.

As part of the newly approved rule, hearing aids are now available at several locations, including Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, and more.

people working at a pharmacy
Image: Unsplash

Additionally, online platforms such as Best Buy and Hy-Vee will start selling over-the-counter hearing aids online starting this week.

In Walgreens, people can get a hearing aid for $799, which the company says would originally cost from $2,000 to $8,000 if sold by a specialist.

Some companies have already developed hearing aids designed specifically to be sold OTC. Sony launched two new hearing aids, one for $1,000 and one for $1,300, in preparation for the new rule’s approval.

sony otc hearing aid
Image: Sony

The expectation right now is that this new ruling from the FDA will encourage other tech companies to move into the hearing aid space.

There are millions of hearing-impaired people in the US. And this could make getting a hearing aid much more accessible for them.

Of course, there are limitations to the new over-the-counter hearing aids. They’re only available if you have “mild to moderate” hearing loss. You’ll still need a prescription for more severe cases.

And anyone under 18 will still need a prescription for a hearing aid. However, this is a great move that will likely help millions of hearing-impaired individuals get the help they need at a more affordable price.

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Contributing writer with a passion for gaming and tech. Probably getting wrecked by some kids in Rocket League.

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