Adults in the United States with mild-to-moderate hearing loss may now purchase hearing aids without a prescription, medical exam, or audiologist fitting. In August, the Food and Drug Administration released a final regulation allowing shops and online sellers to sell over-the-counter (OTC) devices beginning today.
According to the White House, the measure may save customers thousands of dollars on a pair of hearing aids. Walmart currently sells them through its website, Sam’s Club, over 1,000 in-store Vision Centers, and 474 Sam’s Club Hearing Aid Centers. Walmart’s offerings range in price from $199 to $999 per pair. According to the manufacturer, similar prescription hearing aids cost between $4,400 and $5,500.
Walgreens and CVS are now offering over-the-counter hearing aids. Best Buy and Hy-Vee will start selling them online this week, with shops following suit later.
Sony introduced two hearing aid devices developed in collaboration with WS Audiology last week. According to Sony, the CRE-C10 has a battery life of up to 70 hours on a single charge. This model will be available this month. Meanwhile, the CRE-E10 will set you back $1,300. Sony says it has a battery life of 26 hours, although it can be recharged wirelessly. The CRE-E10 may also connect to an iPhone to play audio.
In August 2021, Jabra will unveil a pair of hearing-improving earphones. They were originally offered via hearing care clinics, but according to Jabra, they are now available as over-the-counter hearing aids. Bose introduced early last year what it said were the first FDA-cleared hearing aids that do not need a prescription or a visit to a doctor.
Nearly 30 million Americans, including 10 million under the age of 60, are thought to have some degree of hearing loss. Over-the-counter hearing aids might significantly enhance the quality of life for many individuals, particularly because the devices should be substantially less costly. However, people with severe hearing loss or anybody under the age of 18 will still need a prescription for hearing aids, according to the FDA.