Hearing Health and Technology -- Workshop, Project No. P171200
I have been an audiologist for over 40 years. In that time, the proportion of people with Hearing loss who get hearing aids has hovered at 20%. As audiologists, we have wondered time and again how to grow this percentage. OTC hearing aids may be the answer. If we truly care about the ease of access and affordability, and not just the impact this change in regulation will have on our businesses, we should embrace this change. OTC hearing "devices" are already available. Let's open the market to make these devices good, and know that we will achieve a greater number of users who will try OTC, realize that they actually DO hear better with amplification, and will then visit an audiologist to get a real evaluation and a custom-fitted and tuned device for their specific hearing loss. A "win" all the way around--for consumer, for forward-thinking audiologists. Strictly my own personal opinion.