All Ears

Hearing aids are now greatly accessible and over the counter.

Sandra Do, Staff Writer

The FDA has finalized the approval of over-the-counter hearing aids and is predicted to be sold in stores around October of this year. The debate on whether they should be accessible over the counter has now been ended. The FDA has made it known that hearing aids will be available to purchase without medical examination.

Hearing aids will be sold on the shelf in stores such as Walgreens, Walmart and many others.

Hearing and listening is a crucial part of our day-to-day lives, but some people may have minor struggles in terms of their hearing.

Therefore, accessibility of this device could be very life-changing to many individuals. It is noted that not everyone has amazing opportunities where they are able to find a good audiologist. This could create unnecessary problems and could even make it harder to be able to get hearing aids.

“For me personally, I’ve been very fortunate to have a very helpful audiologist and I don’t feel at all that it has been a difficult process,” freshman Keanu Vogel said.

Vogel was able to find an audiologist to provide him with hearing aids that are best fit. Besides problems in discovering and getting access to an audiologist, there are also possible issues in terms of money.

The prices and affordability without insurance can be considered extremely high for most people.

Even under circumstances where insurance does cover the hearing aid, there is still the possibility of not all of the cost being covered. According to MDHearingAid, hearing clinics can charge “anywhere from $2,500 to $7,000.”

This could cause restrictions that could complicate the lives of the people who are in need of this medical device. The confirmation of over-the-counter hearings aids being sold can partially aid in resolving the situation at hand.

“From what I have heard, I think that [over-the-counter hearing aids] will be beneficial for those who don’t have as much accessibility,” senior Camilia Rubi said. Those with or without troubles in hearing are fond of this idea of convenience and ease of access to the device.

However, without a professional examination for over-the-counter hearing aids, it causes some people to think that there could be problems in choosing the correct hearing aids. Over-the-counter would now allow for possible unlicensed sellers to sell.

“There are widespread concerns for both [sides], and there might be some unreliability,” Vogel said.

Overall, the FDA approving these over-the-counter hearing aids serves as a helpful commodity that allows for some access and monetary to be resolved.

Further permitting individuals to decide for themselves on the option that would be the best fit for their situation where the device is necessary. As for the minor concerns in terms of reliability, they will most likely be settled as time goes on.