Hearing aids now available over the counter

A new law could help more people with moderate hearing loss.

Lynne Adkins
October 10, 2018 - 7:48 am
A man is fitted for a hearing aid

Andrey Popov/Dreamstime.com

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A new law will let drug store customers buy hearing aids over the counter, just like reading glasses. Dr. Rebecca Blaha, assistant professor of audiology at Salus University in Elkins Park, says this is a good step.

"They're targeting people who have mild to moderate hearing loss that might self-identify with mild communication difficulties," Blaha said. "Because that type of hearing loss is typically seen as we get older, so it's seen as more an age-related hearing loss that develops."

She notes that, without seeing a doctor, customers may not be getting the assistance they need. 

"It's difficult with these types of devices, because they won't have the same quality as a prescribed device," Blaha siad. "And people are not very accurate at self identifying their true communication deficit."

But these over-the-counter hearing aids will be cheaper than what's available through a doctor's office, so they may make better hearing available to more people.