Some hearing aids now sold over the counter without prescription
Millions of Americans with hearing loss are celebrating a new move by the Food and Drug Administration that will allow some hearing aids to be sold over the counter and without a prescription.
Monday marked the first day that adults with mild to moderate hearing loss can purchase hearing aids at pharmacies. This is without a prescription, exam or fitting.
“Personally, I think hearing aids for myself are my life raft,” says Bailey Sappir, of Easterseals. “I rely on them to hear the world around me.”
Sappir works with Easterseals New Jersey, helping many residents with hearing loss find jobs. She is also hearing impaired and says she relies on hearing aids, which can be very expensive.
“I was quoted at least $8,000 last time I went to get hearing aids,” she says.
Doctors estimate that 90% of the population with hearing loss can benefit from this new program.
“Hearing health is part of overall wellness, just as is your blood pressure, cholesterol, your weight, everything else to staying fit,” says Barbara Kelley, executive director of the Hearing Loss Association of America.
Sappir says that even though it is not required, those who are seeking to purchase a hearing aid should still get a hearing test at the doctor’s office so that they know exactly what to buy.