A 'Game-Changer' For Millions Of Americans: You Can Now Buy Hearing Aids Over The Counter
October 27, 2022
For the first time, adults with mild to moderate hearing loss in the U.S. will be able to buy over-the-counter hearing aids.
Experts say the move is a "game-changer."
In July, President Joe Biden signed an executive order meant to promote competition. It encouraged the FDA to allow over-the-counter, prescription-free hearing aids.
Over the counter hearing aids hit stores on October 17 after the FDA issued a final rule. Now, instead of getting a prescription and having a custom fitting with a hearing health professional, adults can buy hearing aids directly from a store or online.
The difference in cost can be hundreds of dollars, sometimes even thousands.
On average, people spend at least $4,000 out of pocket for devices for both ears, according to a 2020 study published in the medical journal JAMA.
Over-the-counter hearing aids are starting as low as $200.
Until now, five companies have controlled 90% of the global marketplace for hearing aids resulting in very little price competition. With the change, many more companies are expected to enter the market.
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