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‘UnPHILtered’: How over-the-counter hearing aids will help Americans

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — In October, millions of Americans can buy hearing aids without a prescription. The Food and Drug Administration ruled in August to create a new class of hearing aids that don’t require a medical examination, a prescription, or any other specialty evaluation.

The new devices are intended for adults with mild to moderate hearing problems. The FDA estimates almost 30 million adults could benefit from the new hearing aids. Experts anticipate the cost for the over-the-counter hearing aid is expected to cost around $1,000, but official pricing data has not been released yet.

Shannon Van Hyfte, an associate clinical professor in the department of speech, language, and hearing sciences at Purdue University, joined News 8’s Phil Sanchez to explain why this sort of technology took so long to develop.

“Consumers have been looking for an option for such a long time,” she said. “The biggest difference in price goes into the research and development as well as the expertise of the audiologist fitting that device and doing additional testing to make sure that the patient is getting everything they need and that that has verified along with ongoing service and maintenance and support of the product. But a lower cost price point from mild to moderate individuals is a great option for those who want to try out this amplification market.”

To watch the full interview, click on the video above.