OTC hearing aids to begin being sold October 17
FDA had previously approved sales without need for exam, fitting
HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) — News 12 had previously reported that beginning this fall, residents with mild to moderate hearing loss would soon be able to purchase hearing aids over the counter.
The FDA recently approved over-the-counter hearing aids to be sold directly to Americans all without the need for a fitting or medical exam prior to purchase.
The date of sale for the OTC hearing aids has been confirmed for Monday, October 17.
CBS News reports that some have to pay more than $5,000 for hearing aids, and not all insurance policies cover them.
One local pharmacist says the strongest achievement of OTC sales is availability.
“The whole goal of approving these OTC hearing aids is to make it more accessible,” said Jake Standefer of Hixson’s Access Family Pharmacy. “That way, patients have more options to get the hearing aids — hopefully, that will reduce the price. And then, obviously, not need a medical exam or see an audiologist for hearing aids — specifically the OTC ones with mild to moderate hearing loss.”
Those in need of the devices will also be able to shop for them online, as well as at their local pharmacies.
OTC hearing aids, again, are meant for those with minor to moderate hearing loss.
For those with severe hearing loss or tinnitus, Standefer says the OTC hearing aids are not a suitable substitute and a visit to an audiologist would still be recommended.