CVS Pharmacy opened its first Maryland hearing center in an Ellicott City store, as part of the drug store chain's move to capture more health related business in its retail outlets.
The store, which sells and services hearing aids, is staffed by audiologists and can provide hearing screenings and fittings. Insurance is accepted for some services.
Hearing loss is common, with almost 16 percent, or 40 million people, reporting some hearing trouble, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CVS officials note, however, that the Hearing Loss Association of America reports that it take an average of seven years for consumers to seek help from a professional and 86 percent who could benefit from a hearing aid don't wear one.
CVS and other drug store chains already offer other health services, including walk-in health clinics and immunizations.