Hearing Health and Technology -- Workshop, Project No. P171200
Putting out OTC hearing aid devices is detrimental to those with a hearing loss. Physical exams are necessary as no two individuals are exactly the same and no hearing loss is exactly the same. Just as eye exams are necessary as are ear/hearing exams. The ear is a much more complicated body system than most understand and special training on hearing loss is pertinent for individuals to be able to get the most out of their hearing devices. Risks of Over the Counter Hearing aids will allow for underlying conditions to go undetected and untreated which could cause more harm for the patient. In these type of cases the OTC will cause more harm since the actual issue is not being treated and the device will provide no benefit to the patient. A recent study simulating OTC environment for hearing devices found that "Only 1 out of 4 individuals correctly self-diagnosed their hearing loss without a hearing test; 3 out of 4 individuals either did not have any loss or had a loss different from what they perceived, preventing them from getting the best hearing solution; 1 out of 5 individuals willing to treat their perceived loss chose a harmful amplifier since some amplifiers today exceed safe limits that are harmful to hearing." This will not be helping patients or Americans but rather will be detrimental to those suffering from hearing loss or similar medical issues.