According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an estimated 30 million Americans experience hearing loss but only about one-fifth seek treatment. Whether it be grandparents struggling to be fully immersed in the action of a grandkid's music recital or any hearing-challenged individual struggling in daily life due to their impairment, a new service at Hy-Vee is taking away some of the stigmas that may exist for them.

They've been ahead of the curb against some of their grocery competitors during the COVID-19 pandemic when it came to vaccines and testing convenience, and now another barrier is being removed to help customers obtain clearer access to the world around them.

According to CBS2, select Hy-Vee locations around Iowa will offer over-the-counter hearing aids, with no prescription or exam required.  The FDA recently ruled that all adults 18 or older with mild to moderate hearing loss should be eligible to purchase hearing aids in stores or online without a medical exam, prescription, or a fitting adjustment by an audiologist.

Through Hy-Vee's new offering, customers can find a variety of styles including receiver-in-the-canal and earbuds, along with other accessories at a cost of less than $500. Each designated store also offers a hearing kiosk within its Hy-Vee Pharmacy department that provides individuals with a free hearing test to measure their level of hearing loss.

These locations in Eastern Iowa are now making this product and service available:

  • Bettendorf Hy-Vee 2900 Devils Glen Road, Bettendorf
  • Edgewood Hy-Vee 5050 Edgewood Road NE, Cedar Rapids
  • Johnson Avenue Hy-Vee 1843 Johnson Ave. NW, Cedar Rapids 
  • Wilson Avenue Hy-Vee 20 Wilson Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids
  • Crosspark Road Hy-Vee 3285 Crosspark Road, Coralville
  • Marshalltown Hy-Vee 802 S. Center St., Marshalltown

While this is the first over-the-counter program available under the new FDA ruling, Hy-Vee has offered hearing devices with a prescription since 2018. They plan to have it available in 100 total stores by the end of 2022.

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