Walmart Joins Best Buy in Offering OTC Hearing Aids

Walmart will begin selling over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids, taking advantage of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration ruling allowing the sale of the devices.

“A person’s ‘whole health’ is a combination of many factors, including hearing, that influence physical and mental well-being,” said Walmart Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Wigneswaran in a Monday (Oct. 17) news release. “Offering easy access to OTC hearing aids — something that seems quite small — is a solution that can improve our customer’s health outcomes and their ability to live better and healthier.”

The FDA announced its ruling in August, saying it would allow the millions of Americans who could benefit from the use of hearings aid to purchase them straight from stores or online retailers with no need for a doctor’s exam, prescription, or fitting adjustment from an audiologist.

Walmart said in the release it will sell an assortment of OTC hearing aids, ranging from $199 to $999 per pair, from brands that include Lexie powered by Bose and HearX. Hearing aids are available at and at the company’s Vision Centers in Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas, ahead of a nationwide rollout. Customers can also find them at 474 Sam’s Club Hearing Aid Centers.

Walmart’s announcement follows an earlier decision by Best Buy to sell OTC hearing aids at 300 of its stores.

Read more: Best Buy Jumps Into Hearing Aids After FDA Clears OTC Sales

The FDA said nearly 30 million Americans could benefit from a hearing device.

But as PYMNTS noted last year, government data shows far fewer people wear hearing aids than need them, with just 30% of seniors with hearing loss wearing them, and 16% of adults between 20 and 69.

See more: Connected Tech Overcomes Hearing Aids Stigma

The reason? Cost and aesthetics, Olive Union Chief Financial Officer Edward Hall told PYMNTS last year.

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