WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions of Americans will be able to buy hearing aids without a prescription later this fall, under a long-awaited rule finalized Tuesday.
The Food and Drug Administration said the new regulation cuts red tape by creating a new class of hearing aids that don’t require a medical exam, a prescription and other specialty evaluations. The devices will be sold online or over-the-counter at pharmacies and other retail stores.
The devices are intended for adults with mild to moderate hearing problems. The FDA estimates that nearly 30 million adults could potentially benefit from hearing aids, but only about one-fifth of people with hearing problems use the devices currently.