Hearing Health and Technology -- Workshop, Project No. P171200 #00054

Submission Number:
00054
Commenter:
Todd Gibson
State:
South Carolina
Initiative Name:
Hearing Health and Technology -- Workshop, Project No. P171200
In considering the current and future needs of Americans with hearing loss please be educated to the facts. The professional "fitting" of hearing aids/hearing devices is imperative. It is naive to treat hearing aids like eyeglasses that are sold on a rack at your local box pharmacy. They are not at all the same. Whereas as a consumer can buy a pair of readers over the counter it is a less complicated decision regarding how much magnification is required. Hearing devices must address a more complicated array of factors including frequency/pitch, softness of sounds, loudness of sounds, individual tolerance for loud sounds, and an individual's own ability to hear speech clearly. Everone's hearing ability in this regard is different and hearing aids/devices must be fitted to account for these differences. A lack of regard for the unique nature of an individual's hearing loss can result in migraine headaches, balance problems, and possible cognitive changes or god forbid, further changes in hearing. Research has shown that Do It Yourself Healtchare does not work and only leads to more complicated issues or delayed treatment. In the long run, that means higher costs to the healthcare system. It is also important to consider that in countries where hearing aids are offered at no cost to citizens, the adoption rate is the same as it is here in the states. Cost is not the ONLY factor. As you listen to testimony and discussion on hearing healthcare and alternatives, I strongly encourage you to keep hearing healthcare providers as part of the landscape. It is in the best interest of the consumer and our citizens. I approve all of these comments for public display. Todd Gibson, Au.D. Doctor of Audiology Lexington, South Carolina