NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Hearing aids will soon be available over the counter, and without a prescription possibly as early as October.
For many, Tuesday’s decision from the Food and Drug Administration is a long time coming.
Millions of Americans in need have been discouraged from buying hearing aids because of the high cost and the fact that they have not been covered by basic Medicare.
The FDA created a new category for over-the-counter hearing aids which will not require an exam.
Jeff Bravin, the executive director at the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford, called the news a step in the right direction for deaf and hard-of-hearing folks.
“But, I really want to push a little harder on the federal government. For individuals who are born deaf or for children who have experienced hearing loss, either at birth or from younger ages, that group of folks still have to go through audiologists. And hearing aids for that specific population who have a moderate to severe hearing loss, the cost of hearing aids for this group of folks is really astronomical,” shared Bravin.
Congress first passed legislation in 2017 to allow over-the-counter legislation. President JoeBiden issued an executive order last year.
Bravin said he hopes the ruling will eventually include other populations and leads to additional rulings that help the younger population receive the same type of benefit.