Feds to Allow Hearing Aids to be Sold Over-the-Counter
Thursday, August 18, 2022
Relief may be on the way for many older Nevadans who need hearing aids but can't afford to pay $3,000 to $5,000 for a pair.
The Food and Drug Administration has just cleared the way for hearing aids to be sold without a prescription or a visit to the audiologist.
Favil West is founder and chairman of the board of the nonprofit Foundation Assisting Seniors in Henderson, which helps older folks get durable medical equipment.
"I think that in my judgment, this is a great boon," said West, "if it's quality equipment, if it's equipment that's going to last seniors."
The Biden administration predicts this could save people up to $3,000 per pair. The less-expensive hearing aids could hit pharmacy shelves as early as October.
West said people need to keep quality top of mind and thinks many people will stick with higher-end models, if they can afford them.
"They last longer," said West. "The batteries are readily accessible and then they can tune them. They use the TV, you can turn down the volume, you eliminate crowd noise. So these are the kinds of things that really make a hearing aid effective."
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders estimates that one third of people ages 65 to 74 have hearing loss, and that rises to more than half of people older than 75.
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