LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Following recent FDA approval, people will no longer need a medical exam or fitting to secure hearing aids.

Custom hearing aids can cost around $2,000 to $5,000 each, so ear, nose and throat surgeon Sreek Cherukuri helped develop a solution”

“Given the technological advancements at the time, we were able to come up with really high-quality hearing aids that cost between $200 and $500,” said Dr. Cherukuri.

The FDA is going further by creating a new class of hearing aids that don’t need a medical exam or a prescription, and these will be available online or over the counter.

“It’s good and maybe good enough, but it’s certainly not going to be bells and whistles or real fancy or customized,” said Dr. Cherukuri.

The FDA believes these could help as many as 30 million adults with mild to moderate hearing loss.

Cherukuri says there are some things buyers need to be aware of.

“It’s well known in our industry that hearing aids, it’s not typically you try one on and you’re fine. It’s almost like you test drive a car, you might try two or three and you pick the one you like,” said Cherukuri.

He says the FDA did not require a return policy.

“Read carefully to make sure that there’s a trial period or return policy, or they could be stuck with a several hundred dollar device that’s not suiting their need,” said Cherukuri.

With this added competition in hearing aids, Cherukuri thinks prices will lower across the industry and help to expand access and choices.

These new devices are expected to be available by October.