Hearing aids start selling over-the-counter in U.S.

Sony last week announced the U.S. launch of its CRE-E10 over-the-counter, self-fitting hearing aid. [Image from Sony]The White House announced the rollout of over-the-counter hearing aids at major U.S. retailers today.

“Starting this week, we’re making hearing aids available over the counter, so people don’t have to pay for expensive visits to specialists,” President Joe Biden said on Twitter.

In August, the FDA issued a final ruling to create a new category of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids. Under the ruling, people with mild-to-moderate hearing loss can forgo a medical exam, prescription or fitting adjustment by an audiologist. Government officials think the move could lower the cost of a pair of the devices by $3,000 on average.

The Biden administration said the over-the-counter hearing aids provided significant financial breathing room for the nearly 30 million Americans with hearing loss, about a third of them under the age…

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