Hearing Health and Technology -- Workshop, Project No. P171200
As a provider of hearing health care to patients, I strongly disagree that better hearing health care will be provided to the public at large through OTC hearing devices. In our offices, we provide health care service to the public each and every day. We do this through encouragement and counselling as well as helping to maintain hearing devices in good working order. We see patients every 6 months to make sure that the patients hearing is being taking care of in the best way possible. Without the level of support and care that we provide patients, we strongly believe that hearing health will suffer. On a personal note, both my parents have hearing losses and hearing aids and without our support, neither of them would be wearing their hearing aids and getting the help they need. Removing the hearing healthcare provider from the treatment of hearing loss could be dangerous as well. We currently look for 8 FDA warning signs to determine if a patient should be seen by another healthcare provider for potential life threatening issues. A patient is not capable of determining this for themselves. As far a cost of hearing aids being a concern, our offices provide charity services for patients that cannot afford hearing aids. In other countries where hearing aids are provided through social services for patients the adoption rate is no better than the adoption rate for hearing aids in this country. More counselling and education is needed, not less by taking the hearing healthcare provider out of the equation. Thanks for your time.