FDA approves over-the-counter hearing aids
The FDA recently approved over-the-counter hearing aids, which could become available in stores as early as mid-October.
Before, you had to have a prescription for hearing aids, but that’s not the case anymore.
According to Dr. Sarah Sydlowski with Cleveland Clinic, 80% of people with hearing loss haven’t tried to improve it and the introduction of the over-the-counter hearing aids is a push to change that.
The hearing aids are designed for people 18 and older with mild or moderate hearing issues.
Those interested will not be required to have a medical exam or prescription before buying them.
However, it is still recommended to see an audiologist for a hearing test so you can learn more about what kind of hearing difficulties you may have, as well as the various treatment options available.
“I think over-the-counter devices are going to be a wonderful option for people who aren’t ready to take that big step to fully understand their hearing loss or maybe to see an audiologist in order to have a prescription device programmed. So this will be a great way for people to maybe have an entry point and then when they’re having more difficulty or the device is not providing the benefit they need, they can come see an audiologist,” said Sydlowski.
She notes more still needs to be done to raise awareness about hearing loss.
Although it’s one of the top three most common health conditions, a recent study showed only about 10% of older adults between the ages of 50 and 80 were able to properly identify what’s considered a normal range of hearing.