My thoughts on hearing aids being sold over-the-counter as soon as mid-October
The Food and Drug Administration moved today to make hearing aids available over the counter and without a prescription to adults, a long-sought wish of consumers frustrated by expensive exams and devices.
As soon as mid-October, people with mild to moderate hearing loss should be able to buy hearing aids online and in retail stores, without being required to see a doctor for an exam to get a prescription.
The F.D.A. cited studies estimating that about 30 million Americans experience hearing loss, but only about one-fifth of them get help. The changes could upend the market, which is dominated by a relatively small number of manufacturers, and make it a broader field with less costly, and perhaps, more innovative designs. Current costs for hearing aids, which tend to include visits with an audiologist, range from about $1,400 at Costco to roughly $4,700 elsewhere.
This is exciting news for those of us who are hearing impaired. My last hearing aids even after insurance still cost over $2,000.
The Wall Street Journal has already reported that Apple is considering getting into the hearing aid business. I’m excited to see what Apple will be doing in the OTC hearing aid market. Apple might be my next set of hearing aids?
As a side note, did you know that you can already use your AirPods as hearing aids?
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