Hearing Impaired North Texans React to FDA Ruling Allowing Hearing Aids to be Sold Over-the-Counter

NORTH TEXAS (WBAP/KLIF News ) – North Texans who suffer from hearing loss are reacting to this week’s Food and Drug Administration ruling on Tuesday that allows hearing aids to be sold over-the-counter.

Adults with mild to moderate hearing loss can purchase the devices at retail stories and pharmacies without the need for a medical exam, prescription or a fitting adjustment by an audiologist.

Sue Schneider has been deaf since she was 28 and said it’s a good first step but she’s concerned about the cost for hearing aids for those who can’t afford it. A set typically run a few thousand dollars.

“Wonderful that they’ve made it more accessible but even through you can run in and buy them over-the-counter…Are they still going to be as costly as they are?” she said.

There are cheaper hearing aids on the market but Schneider said those can come with some issues.

“The low-cost hearing aids that you can buy are very tinny. It’s awful. It would be wonderful if they could make them better quality where you can actually hear what people are saying and not pick up all the background noise,” she said.

Another issue Schneider brings up is the fact the hearing aids are typically not covered by insurance. That’s something she would like to see changed.

“No one chooses to be hearing impaired. It just happens and it should be covered,” she said.

The Biden administration said the ruling creates a new category of over-the-counter hearing aids thus making the devices more accessible and affordable for millions of Americans.

The FDA said adults will be able to buy the hearing aids as soon as mid-October. According to FDA data, about 30 million U.S. adults could benefit from hearing aid.

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