Hearing Health and Technology -- Workshop, Project No. P171200
I am strongly opposed to the idea of selling hearing aids over-the-counter. As someone who studied Audiology and who also has a hearing loss, I cannot stress enough how important it is to have an Audiologist perform hearing tests and an exam before fitting for an aid. The ears are extremely complex and each person's hearing loss is different. There is a major risk of causing worse damage to a person's hearing of any age due to the use of an incorrect aid that may be too powerful. There are so many underlying causes of hearing loss that require proper diagnosis beforehand to determine if and/or what type of aid would work best. Sometimes, a person will benefit to a certain extent from an aid, but may not be able to receive a large benefit from one, which most people have the viewpoint that a hearing aid will restore all hearing lost and that is not true. This false expectation is dangerous when it comes to a person choosing their own hearing aid and causing more damage by increasing the power thinking it will help. This idea is dangerous to everyone of all ages, including children. We need to always help people hear the best way possible and that will always be through an Audiologist and hearing exams, not over-the-counter hearing aids.