GOUVERNEUR, N.Y. (WWTI) – Kinney Drugs and Lucid® Hearing have partnered together to launch a new Hearing Health Center.

Through the partnership, Kinney’s will be offering an assortment of over-the-counter hearing aids, personal sound amplifiers and hearing protection in 52 stores in both New York and Vermont.

In October 2022, hearing aids for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss were USFDA-approved for over-the-counter sale to consumers aged 18 and up. Hearing aids used to be only available after testing and a prescription from a licensed hearing professional. Kinney’s said over-the-counter hearing aids will make hearing healthcare accessible and affordable.

Prescription hearing aids can range from about $2,300 to $4,500 per ear, according to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Kinney’s retail prices range from about $40 per pair of personal sound amplifiers to around $1,000 per pair of Bluetooth®-compatible over-the-counter hearing aids.

“We are thrilled with the FDA’s decision to allow hearing aids to be sold over the counter, and Kinney Drugs wants to be the first in our markets to offer them. We have partnered with Lucid® Hearing to bring more affordable hearing solutions to our patients and customers – without a hearing exam or prescription,” said John Marraffa, Jr., R.Ph., President, Kinney Drugs. “I do want to point out that OTC hearing aids aren’t for everyone. It’s important for individuals with severe or profound hearing loss, sudden hearing loss, and/or other medical issues such as pain or balance problems to see an ear-nose-throat specialist and/or a licensed hearing professional. For people with mild to moderate hearing loss, I believe Kinney has solutions that could really help improve their quality of life.”

More than half of U.S. adults report having some difficulty hearing, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

The following locations in the North Country will be offering over-the-counter hearing aids:

Jefferson County

  • Adams, 10923 US Route 11
  • Alexandria Bay, 21 State Route 12
  • Carthage, 401 State Street
  • Clayton, 822 James Street
  • Watertown, 1729 State Street
  • Watertown, 905 Coffeen Street

St. Lawrence County

  • Canton, 40 SH 310
  • Gouverneur, 17 Clinton Street
  • Gouverneur, 371 East Main Street
  • Massena, 300 Main Street
  • Ogdensburg, 700 Canton Street
  • Potsdam, 48 Maple Street

Consumers can pay for over-the-counter hearing aids with funds from Flexible Spending Accounts or Health Savings Accounts, according to IRS guidelines.