Hearing aids to be available over-the-counter

Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 3:28 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 30, 2022 at 3:44 PM EDT
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PRINCETON, W.Va. (WVVA) - Hearing aids are set to be available over-the-counter in the U.S. as soon as mid-October, following an executive order signed by President Joe Biden in July.

According to the FDA, nearly 30-million Americans are currently living with hearing loss. Experts say the condition impacts more than just one’s ability to hear as well.

“Hearing loss has other affects on you cognitively, socially.” said Dr. Madonna Blair, an Audiologist. “We see a lot of isolation and especially in our older patients, patients start to withdraw.”

A Princeton patient said access to the device had already been a life-changer after just six months of use.

“I thought, ‘I’m not going to sit here and let my hearing go.’ And go to church, can’t hear the preacher, can’t hear the singing. Now I can hear it all,” said Maxine Gillespie.

And while many more Americans are set to see increased access moving forward, Dr. Blair noted proper assessment and consultation with an expert will still be the way to go in her opinion.

“We are wanting more people to have access to hearing aids who need them, but we want them to get the right thing,” said Dr. Blair. “You’re going to see people who get the wrong match and either don’t do well and say ‘well hearing aids don’t work for me.’”