LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — With the FDA’S approval over the counter hearing aids are now available at CVS, Walgreens, and retailers like Walmart and Best Buy – without requiring a medical exam.  

Certified ENT Surgeon Dr. Sreek Cherukuri said having this option is a long overdue change that can be a good thing for certain people, “It is designed for people to mild to moderate loss, the vast majority of people we see in our ear nose and throat clinics are moderate to severe or worse.”

On average, hearing aids for those people who have moderate to severe hearing loss need a high level of care and hearing aids that are custom made-  those average $2300 for a single unit. Over-the-counter options vary between $200 and $1,200 a pair.

It’s a significant saving if you only suffer mild to moderate hearing loss, 80% of people who would benefit from a hearing aid, don’t wear anything at all.

Dr. Cherukuri personally visited three Best Buys and three Walgreens and wasn’t impressed with the selection –  many options were out of stock, and salespeople didn’t know anything about them.

“I do hope retail outlets do become more educated over time and council people who come in.”  Meantime Dr. Cherukuri suggests the following for anyone suffering from hearing loss, “Go, and see a doctor, have somebody look in your ear, and get a hearing test, they are covered by insurance, that way you at least know where you stand, in mild to moderate category.”