National

FDA change ushers in cheaper, easier-to-get hearing aids

Sterling Sheffield, an assistant professor of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at the University of Florida, shows an iPhone app that controls a Bose hearing aid Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, in Gainesville, Fla. OTC hearing aids started hitting the market in October after the FDA approved them for adults with mild-to-moderate hearing loss, and Sheffield has been testing them. (AP Photo/Alan Youngblood)

(AP) — It’s now a lot easier and cheaper for Americans to get hearing aids.

The government recently began allowing the sale of hearing aids without a prescription.

These over-the-counter hearing aids began hitting the market in October at prices that can be thousands of dollars lower than prescription hearing aids.

They are for people with mild-to-moderate hearing problems — not those with more severe hearing loss.

The Food and Drug Administration estimates that around 30 million people in the United States deal with hearing loss.

Only about 20% of the people who could use a hearing aid seek help.