ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Hearing aids for mild to moderate hearing loss are now available over the counter, which means patients no longer need medical fittings or even a prescription.
According to experts, four out of five people who might be experiencing hearing loss are unable to address the issue due to high costs and lack of accessibility. Even though the devices will be available for purchase either in-person or online, organizations, such as the Hearing Loss Association of America, have been able to create guidelines for consumers.
“To allow people to identify if they have mild to moderate hearing loss, and what they might be able to take advantage of in the marketplace, which devices will meet their needs and how they can go about isolating or finding the right device for them,” said MaryKate Owens, President of the Hearing Loss Association of America, Albany Chapter.
Dr. Debra Trees, who is an audiologist, shared her concerns about whether or not a patient will be able to use the devices on their own. “They need to be aware that they will have to do a self-fit, self-choice, and self-maintaining, that’s a big part of it.”
According to officials, it will take some time before hearing aids will be available for purchase at your local pharmacy. Eileen Wood is the Chief Pharmacy Officer for CDPHP and believes that Pharmacists will make sure to help patients from a clinical perspective.
“It’s a real opportunity for pharmacists to help patients because now they’re gonna come in looking for a solution,” she said. “And we’re gonna be here making sure that an over-the-counter product is the right product solution.”