Access new over-the-counter hearing aids

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ALBUQUERQUE, NM — Relief is coming soon for those with hearing problems, as some hearing aids will be sold over-the-counter without a prescription, following a landmark FDA ruling earlier this month.

Relief comes from the fact that hearing aids can cost up to $6,000 per ear, and most insurers don’t cover costs or hearing exams. For instance, on the official website of the health insurance, it says, “Medicare does not cover hearing aids or examinations for fitting hearing aids,” which means the costs have to come out of your pocket. Some Medicare Advantage plans may provide additional benefits that Medicare alone does not provide.

OTC hearing aids are meant to be a more accessible and inexpensive alternative for the more than 30 million people over the age of 18 who may suffer from mild to moderate hearing loss, but the aids may not be right for everyone.

“If you can, I highly recommend having this conversation with your primary care provider, that way you can both decide if this is the path you need to take or do you need an assessment. more in-depth from someone else like an audiologist or even an ear, nose, and throat doctor,” said Charissa Geyer, physician for specialty care services at Optum New Mexico.

Hearing loss is irreversible, so doctors recommend preventive measures, such as having your hearing checked regularly.

It’s still unclear how much these over-the-counter hearing aids will cost, but you won’t need a prescription or medical exam to buy them, which can save you money. In mid-October, they should arrive in pharmacies, retail stores and even online.

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