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Hearing aids will soon become available directly from retailers for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss in the USA, thanks to a long-awaited Food and Drug Administration rule that establishes a new category of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids. The agency's announcement emphasised the expectation that the legislation would lower the price of hearing aids without sacrificing their safety and effectiveness. This overdue move represents a welcome step forward for people with hearing loss in the USA, and should provide impetus for the global community to address what is often a neglected disability.

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