FDA Rule Will Make Some Hearing Aids Available Over the Counter

FDA Rule Will Make Some Hearing Aids Available Over the Counter

Hearing loss affects many workers every year. Now, some may be able to get hearing aids without a prescription.

Some hearing aids may soon be available over the counter.

According to a news release, on Tuesday, a final rule was published by the the Food and Drug Administration designating a new category of hearing aids that can be bought without a prescription, doctor appointment or fitting. The hearing aids, for “mild to moderate hearing impairment" and people over the age of 18, will possibly be available by mid-October.

Many workers are affected by occupational hearing loss (OHL) every year. Nearly 24 percent of hearing loss cases can be attributed to exposure in the workplace, according to The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Workers are at risk for OHL through exposure to loud noise and chemicals that cause hearing loss. 

To reduce the risk of OHL, employers and workers can check the noise at worksites with apps like the NIOSH Sound Level Meter appNIOSH  recommends, or purchase quiet equipment, opt for chemicals that will not cause hearing loss and use PPE. To learn more about preventing hearing loss, visit the Noise and Hearing Loss Prevention page.

About the Author

Alex Saurman is a former Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety,who has since joined OH&S’s client services team. She continues to work closely with OH&S’s editorial team and contributes to the magazine.

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