WASHINGTON, D.C. (WHNT) — Hearing aids are about to become a lot more accessible and possibly more affordable thanks to a rule finalized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday.

The action will establish a new category of hearing aids that will be available over-the-counter (OTC), allowing those with mild to moderate hearing impairment to buy them directly from stores or online retailers – without needing a medical exam, prescription or fitting adjustment.

According to the FDA, the rule will help to lower the cost of hearing aids, “furthering the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of expanding access to high-quality health care and lowering health care costs for the American public.”

The hearing aids are expected to be available in-store as early as mid-October 2022.

Nearly 30 million adults in the U.S. could benefit from hearing aid use, the FDA says. Right now, though, they estimate that only around one-fifth of those with hearing problems currently use the devices.

According to AL.com, the cost of hearing aids can range as high as $5,000 for the device itself and fittings. Insurance coverage is limited, while Medicare only covers the cost of diagnostic tests.

The FDA says devices that are intended for severe hearing impairment or for users under the age of 18, prescriptions will still be needed.

To learn more about the new rule, you can visit the FDA’s website here.