FDA Approves Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids

Starting today, the FDA approval for hearing aid sales over the counter begins to take effect across the nation. This is a landmark decision that will assist those who suffer from hearing loss to have the necessary access to their hearing aids without the previously needed prescription. People may now just simply walk into a pharmacy and purchase the newly approved devices.

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This is following the FDA’s decision in August to enable those suffering from mild to moderate hearing loss to access a new category of hearing aids, as long as they are over the age of 18. In addition, this is following President Biden’s recent bill promoting competition in the American economy, allowing manufacturers to access a broader audience in a way.
This is following a ruling 120 days ago regarding the access to such devices to be as accessible as possible, as it will stimulate the economy and help those in need. While everything comes with a price tag, the cost of these new hearing aids is lower than one may anticipate, with all things considered.
Pricing on the hearing aids ranges from 199-999$ in stores such as Walmart and Walgreens and, starting in November, CVS. Approximately 30 million adults in the United States are affected by hearing loss in varying intensities, and this will allow relief for many who didn’t previously qualify for the prescription. This is a large step in ensuring that health care is more accessible and, eventually, more affordable.

The Positive Impact This Will Have

While these are not the same caliber as prescription hearing aids, they will have a large impact on the quality of life of a lot of individuals. A shocking 33% of adults affected by hearing loss are under the age of 60, and now they have the opportunity to experience life more than ever before. This ruling has the same impact as the accessibility to glasses, as they are needs that will impact a consumer’s everyday life.
The category approved are strictly models of air-conduction hearing aids, which are approved for those with less severe symptoms of hearing loss with a prescription. These help to amplify sounds for the user, and thanks to FDA regulation, are not as likely to over-project sound to the user and have requirements for the length of the insert of the hearing aid to not further damage the user’s hearing by improper insertion.

As a side note, Solitaire Social is accessible to those with hearing loss. The only audio is background music and is not crucial to the gameplay. Users can play solitaire with people from around the globe and enhance their skills as players. It is an inclusive site that ensures a universal experience among all users.

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Hearing disabilities, and disabilities in general, have not been given nearly enough attention in terms of health in the past. It is only recently that professionals started recognizing the need for services catering to those who are disabled. With new rulings like these, assistance for many disabilities may be as close as your nearest CVS in due time. This time it is hearing aids that are given an allowance.
Still, perhaps the next ruling may allow for devices such as Speech Generation Devices to be more readily available or affordable for those in need. Only time will tell, and these are promising first steps.

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