The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is working to make hearing aids available over the counter by mid-October. Minnesota-based Starkey Hearing’s Michael Scholl says prior to the FDA’s ruling, industry officials had concerns…

“What does the regulation say as it relates to health and safety right? I mean it’s one thing to get a hearing aid over the counter you’re not seeing a professional so we want to make sure that the hearing aids don’t inadvertently cause more damage to somebody’s hearing.”

With its new ruling, Scholl says it appears the FDA listened to industry officials and consumers in lowering the maximum decibel out level from 120 to 11 decibels. Scholl says making hearing aids more widely available could also broaden the market to include less expensive alternatives.