Back in December of 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a press release in which they announced increased hearing aid accessibility for consumers and users. Consumers can now have an easier time getting hearing aids, no matter where they live in the nation. In this blog, we’ll explain what that means for you.
Guidance for Hearing Aids
The FDA also has new guidelines for how hearing aids should be sold. Prior regulations might be seen as a so-called “barrier” to hearing aids and to hearing aid accessibility. According to the new guidelines, they will no longer enforce the previous regulation controlling the sale of to someone 18 years old or older. What was the previous regulation? There won’t be a medical evaluation required anymore. But the regulation remains for those under 18, and hearing aid labels still need information about medical conditions that should be examined by a medical professional.
Innovation for Hearing Aids
A 2015 recommendation from The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) encouraged more widespread hearing aid accessibility and use. This directive would be accomplished through more innovation and less regulation. According to that same report, actual barriers to the acquisition of hearing aids included “high cost, difficulty in shopping, and social stigma”. The FDA is putting these and other recommendations into effect to make them more affordable and more accessible. Another study done by the government resulted in the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) deciding that certain devices, such as personal sound amplifiers, could be cheaper alternatives to conventional hearing aids. A new category would, in theory, be created for these and other over-the-counter devices like it.
What This Means for You
Not only will hearing aids be easier to get, their technology will be better as well. Your audiologist will be better equipped to help you choose the right hearing aids for you. Getting a medical evaluation before being fitted for hearing aids can be embarrassing, frustrating, and time-consuming. With that barrier removed, it should be far easier to get hearing aids if you truly need them.
Get Your Hearing Aids from Clarity Audiology
Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions offers state-of-the-art hearing solutions for any hearing loss you are experiencing. We specialize in diagnosing and treating hearing loss, fitting and programming hearing aids, and helping you hear again. Located in several convenient locations, from Catonsville to Clarksville, we look forward to helping you with all of your hearing needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment online or by calling 410-698-6594. To see what we are up to, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn.