Hearing Health and Technology -- Workshop, Project No. P171200 #00073

Submission Number:
Thomas Lolan
Initiative Name:
Hearing Health and Technology -- Workshop, Project No. P171200
I have been a practicing Audiologist since 1974. I have owned a private practice since 1992 and have been professionally dispensing hearing instruments since 1985. There is no doubt that hearing instrumentation should be significantly more available to the hearing impaired population. I as well would love to see the cost of instruments come down. However properly fitting hearing instruments is extremely complicated, takes a great deal of time and indeed no matter what fittings do not always succeed. If an individual has a very mild loss and simply requires slight amplification when needed OTC products are fine. However more severely impaired patients require professional assistance in choosing the correct devices for their loss, anatomy, and lifestyle. Our industry needs to get away from focusing on "tiny and invisible". Most patients can not successfully use that type of instrumentation. Anatomically fitting to an extraordinary array of ears and canals is daunting. As well how the product "fits" in the canal is imperative to the overall outcome of the device. I am proud of the manner in which I assist my patients. Convincing the manufacturers to lower their prices so that the providers can do so but keeping the patient in the provider's capable hands is of the upmost importance. Hearing aids are not reading glasses. Hearing is a unique sense which requires special attention to detail. Please consider your actions and decisions carefully. Thank you