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You Might Be Able to Get Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids as Soon as Next Year

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Better hearing might be more accessible than ever for Americans with mild to moderate hearing loss come next year.

According to CBS News, millions of Americans should already be able to go to their local drug store to pick up over-the-counter hearing aids. Unfortunately that’s not possible today because the Food and Drug Administration missed the August 2020 proposal deadline.

In July, President Joe Biden signed an executive order giving the FDA another 120 days to finish drafting their proposal with the necessary guidelines. After that, it may take until 2022 for hearing aids to actually touch down on shelves across America.

Hearing aids are incredibly expensive devices that few insurances will cover despite how many individuals’ need them. According to Healthline, 37.5 million American adults have some degree of hearing loss, but due to lack of accessibility and stigma, only one in four adults own a set of hearing aids to help them. 

The average cost for hearing aids can set you back anywhere between $1,000 to $5,000. The process of being tested, fitted, etc. could cost even more before you are able to acquire the pair that best fits your needs. 

A select number of companies currently make the devices, so with this upcoming proposal may come a greater influx of options. The new OTC (over-the-counter) models — which are only effective for people with mild to moderate hearing loss — are predicted to cost from $200 to $800. 

Hearing loss is also a symptom or co-morbidity of a variety of medical conditions. This upcoming change could be a game changer.

Getty image via peakSTOCK

Originally published: August 9, 2021
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