AARP praises new FDA category for over-the-counter hearing aids

Press Staff Writer

        The Food and Drug Administration on Aug. 16 announced the creation of a new category of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids – a move that is expected to lower costs for many consumers and help those with mild to moderate hearing loss.
        AARP fought for the bipartisan law, written by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), that required the FDA to issue these regulations. About 40 million older adults experience hearing loss, yet just 20% of those affected use a hearing aid.
        “Giving people with mild to moderate hearing loss access to affordable hearing aids is an important step to ensure their health and quality of life,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP executive vice president and chief advocacy and engagement officer. “For many Americans, the high cost of prescription hearing aids puts them out of reach, increasing their risk of isolation, depression and other health issues.”
        Under the new rule, companies will be able to market and sell OTC hearing aids without a prescription directly to consumers or at retail outlets nationwide. These devices are intended for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. They allow users to tune and program the earpiece themselves using a phone app or other device. People with severe to profound hearing loss are still recommended to get prescription devices which can be more accurately tuned to the individual’s needs by a professional. OTC hearing aids currently retail for about $800 per ear, while prescription devices average $2,300 per ear and premium models cost as much as $6,000.
        In a comment letter to FDA earlier this year, AARP noted: “A person’s ability to hear greatly affects their overall well-being, including how they interact with other people, loved ones, and the environment around them…Left untreated, hearing loss can negatively affect older people’s quality of life by preventing them from engaging with others, leading to social isolation and limiting ability to work.”


The Press

The Press
1550 Woodville Road
Millbury, OH 43447

(419) 836-2221

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Ohio News Media Association