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Over-the-counter hearing aids coming in mid-October

Mankato KEYC-TV 9/29/2022 Sofia Martinez
OTC hearing aid sales begin in October. © Provided by Mankato KEYC-TV OTC hearing aid sales begin in October.

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - For millions of Americans, more affordable hearing aids can be found in stores next month.

Last month, the Food and Drug Administration issued a final ruling to improve access to hearing aids, which they say would lower costs for close to 30 million adults in the U.S.

This enables consumers with perceived mild to moderate hearing impairment to purchase hearing aids from stores without a medical exam.

“Insurances don’t provide coverage for hearing AIDS, and so this is a great option for certain individuals with a certain type of hearing loss that may not otherwise have access to hearing aids,” explained Dr. Julia Omtvedt, an audiological provider at the Mankato Clinic. “However, we don’t really know whether you are truly a candidate until we get that hearing test done. So we want to make sure that the devices you’re getting are safe for you.”

Audiologists still recommended getting a hearing evaluation if you are having any hearing issues.

“You open it up, there might be some options for programming it to your liking, and from there, you’re on your own,” Omtvedt added. “So there’s really not much for follow-ups, not much for helping you to clean them, take care of them.”

Experts say over-the-counter hearing aids are not meant for children or for adults who have more severe hearing loss or significant difficulty hearing.

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