YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A recent plan outlined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could improve access to hearing aid technology.
Tuesday, the FDA outlined a plan to make hearing aids available without a medical exam, prescription or fitting by an audiologist.
It’s something that could impact millions of Americans, like Dorothy Voyda and Mackenzie Goranitis, two local women who are hearing impaired.
“I think it’s a wonderful thing to get that hearing aid without the prescription, you know, to help people who have a hearing loss,” Voyda said.
Voyda and Goranitis work for Easterseals in Youngstown.
“It’s the same concept with glasses. You don’t always need a prescription for reading glasses, so it’s the same kind of idea,” Voyda said.
Voyda believes that this new proposal would break down some barriers for people with mild to moderate hearing loss.
Goranitis agrees that this could help with the financial side of things.
“Hearing aid prices are very expensive, so now spreading the awareness with some of this, and the pricing structure, and how much you have to pay, and what that impact is, I think that’s going to make a big difference,” Goranitis said.
There could be one issue, though.
They say taking away the fitting portion of the hearing aid process could be a problem.
“Sometimes with the hearing aid, if it doesn’t fit right, it can cause a lot of irritation in the ear. The skin can become painful, and then you don’t want to wear it,” Goranitis said.
The FDA believes this will address barriers people with hearing loss face and get them the help they need.