Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids Will Soon be Available to Millions of Americans – April, 2022

HLAA Executive Director Barbara Kelley
Barbara Kelley
Executive Director
Hearing Loss Association of America

By Barbara Kelley, Executive Director, Hearing Loss Association of America
Follow Barbara on Twitter, @Bkelley_HLAA.

HLAA Helps Empower People Facing New Choices in Hearing Health

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is preparing the final rules for a new class of hearing aids that will soon be available in stores and online, without a doctor’s prescription. The idea is to make hearing aids easier to get and more affordable for millions of American adults with mild-to-moderate hearing loss, and it will mean navigating a sea of new information.

Currently, only about 1 in 5 people who could benefit from hearing aids get them — even though untreated hearing loss is linked to mental decline, depression, and falls.

HLAA doesn’t endorse specific products or services but does want to empower consumers to make the best decisions for their hearing health. This e-newsletter article, recently shared with subscribers of The New York Times product review site Wirecutter, offers a closer look at several hearing aids that may soon be available.

The Wirecutter team research included 500 survey responses from our HLAA community to find out what matters most to hearing aid users. The author says this information was key to determining which products and what features to test. More information on hearing aid products is expected from this publication soon.

It’s important to remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to hearing loss. HLAA is a go-to resource as people with hearing loss, and their families, navigate the complex new landscape of products expected to come into the marketplace later this year. The FDA final rules on over-the-counter hearing aids are expected this fall.

If you think you, or a loved one, has a hearing loss, don’t wait! Get your hearing checked today. For more information on hearing health, visit hearwellstayvital.org.