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FDA green lights over-the-counter hearing aids

Rick Bowmer/AP

People will soon be able to buy hearing aids over the counter, without a medical exam, prescription or fitting.

The Food and Drug Administration says its new rule will improve access and bring down the cost of hearing aids for millions of Americans.

“Establishing this new regulatory category will allow people with perceived mild to moderate hearing loss to have convenient access to an array of safe, effective and affordable hearing aids from their neighborhood store or online,” said FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert M. Califf.

The new rule only applies to air-conduction hearing aids for people with mild to moderate hearing loss.

A prescription is still needed for hearing aids to treat severe hearing loss.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 40 million adults aged 20-69 have noise-induced hearing loss.

By Scripps National

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