Over-the-counter hearing aids set to be available as soon as Monday

The FDA has approved over-the-counter hearing aids to be made available October 17th.
Published: Oct. 16, 2022 at 1:28 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Back in august, the FDA approved the over-the-counter sale of hearing aids. Now they will become available on October 17th.

About 80% of people with hearing loss have not tried to fix it, but now that over-the-counter hearing aids are approved and hitting the market, practitioners hope to change those statistics.

Tony Sammons is a Lexington hearing care practitioner, meaning he does hearing evaluations and tests. He also recommends the hearing instrument suitable for someone with hearing loss.

“Most people’s hearing loss is very gradual, so often times they don’t realize they have an issue or perhaps they don’t realize to the extent they have an issue, " Sammons said.

He said studies show that on average, it takes about seven years for someone with hearing loss to even seek help.

“Hopefully with over-the-counter options now, patients will be less concerned about the stigma that’s been historically associated with wearing hearing devices, and they’ll do something sooner,” he said.

Patients will no longer need a prescription for hearing aids, and they can do online testing and fitting themselves.

He said with new technology, hearing aids are continuously getting smaller too.

“It takes the sound, comes in, and digitizes it back to the patient where he or she needs it.” Sammons said, “It does it in a matter of milliseconds. It’s so fast that our brains don’t even realize what’s going on. We just simply hear better.”

He said that he encourages anyone to get help, as soon as they notice any issue.

“Many occasions over the years, you put hearing technology on a person who has a serious hearing loss, and they get it back almost instantly. With how much they had lost and how much they can get back through good technology,” He said, “I’ve had grown men cry.”

He said hearing loss can affect anyone at any age, so it’s important to get checked and tested.