Source: Google Trends

The Signal: 67%-86% of Americans who would benefit from hearing aids aren’t using them — either because of the price or because of the stigma attached to wearing hearing aids. It also takes the typical patient experiencing hearing loss 5-7 years to seek help.

But a long-overdue FDA rule recently created a new category of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids, allowing adults to buy them directly from retailers without a prescription, medical exam, or audiologist visit.