COLORADO SPRINGS — A trip to the doctor’s office is no longer required in Colorado as the Food and Drug Administration passed over-the-counter hearing devices.

“What the FDA did last week is it issued this final rule intending to make hearing aids more accessible by increasing their availability over the counter without the need for a medical exam or prescription or even fitting adjustments by an audiologist or other hearing specialist,” said Tara Trujillo, Cardiovascular Health, Alzheimer’s Disease, and related Dementia Unit Supervisor at Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The Independence Center in Colorado Springs is a local home for civil rights for people with disabilities.

“We work with individuals, their families, and the community to build a community where everyone is known, valued, and included,” said Indy Frazee, CEO of The Independence Center.

Frazee said the new FDA regulations will help people gain access to hearing devices who were once not able to do so.

“Over-the-counter hearing aids really promotes and ensures that people with minor hearing loss have access to affordable, obtainable hearing devices,” said Frazee.

This FDA regulation creates a new category of hearing aids that applies to people ages 18 and older.

“What this is expected to do is to really lower the overall costs for Coloradans who might need hearing aids and who might have difficulty accessing some of those other pieces, like primary care or specialty care or for whom some of those prescription options might just be too expensive,” stated Trujillo.

Doctors’ offices like Hearing Consultants of Colorado Springs are preparing for over-the-counter hearing devices.

“We did some research and we’ve looked at over-the-counter devices even in our own practice so that there’s an option for people where they can’t afford the traditional type of devices,” said Dr. Michael Iliff AUD, Audiologist at Hearing Consultants.

The new over-the-counter hearing aids will be available for purchase in-store or online.

“It’s also fantastic that people will be able to get help, even if it’s something that has a little bit less features, even if they don’t have as much of the professional component, to be able to come in and get help immediately,” said Dr. Iliff.

Dr. Iliff said it is important to visit a doctor to receive the appropriate hearing aid recommendation.

“If you feel like you have some decrease in hearing, go to a place, have your hearing checked, you can do some research online, find a place that is trustworthy,” said Dr. Iliff. “Once you’ve done that, then hopefully they’ll make an accurate recommendation of the devices.”

Hearing aids will be available as soon as mid-October for adults with minor to moderate hearing loss.