US regulators have finalized a much-awaited rule which will allow Americans to get hearing aids without any medical prescription.
The immediate effect of the new rule is that hearing aids will be made available that won’t require any medical examination, unlike the usual ones. Before buying a hearing aid, you often need medical check-ups, special hearing tests, or prescriptions. The available hearing aids are comparatively expensive as well.
Once available, the devices can be purchased through over-the-counter pharmacies and other retail stores. Although it can lower the costs, the competition is also expected to increase.
The leading target group would be adults experiencing moderate to mild hearing issues. Interestingly, hearing-aid is not leveraged by all of them. As per statistics, only one-fifth of people use a hearing aid.
As per data by FDA, almost 30 million adults can benefit heavily from hearing aids. Although the law has become a reality now, it has been around for more than five years. In fact, the new law results from pressure from medical professionals and consumer experts to make hearing aids more affordable and readily available.
The exact arrival date is not decided yet, and there must be more clarity on the actual price.
Officials also informed that the over-the-counter status would only apply to these devices, i.e., the hearing aids for mild to medium hearing loss. The ones for severe hearing loss still require a prescription.
It would be an excellent relief for Americans who otherwise will have to spend around $5000 on hearing aids. Medical insurance doesn’t always cover the expenses for hearing aids. Mostly, tests are covered. So, this could be a breakthrough for the medical world once these devices are available in the market.