Hearing Health and Technology -- Workshop, Project No. P171200
I vehemently oppose the OTC bill as it will harm consumers. I have personally seen patients who obtained hearing devices that were not fit by a professional and they provided no benefit to the user due to an inappropriate fit to the hearing loss. The following points need to be considered: 1. consumers are unable to self-diagnose the degree, type, and etiology of their hearing loss and would not be able to select an appropriate OTC hearing aid, 2.potential financial harm to a person, 3.potential harm to a person's hearing by devices that are too loud, 4.the possibility that parents would give these to their children, 5.insurance companies no longer covering hearing aids because they could be purchased OTC, 6.no hearing healthcare professional conducting an otoscopic exam and hearing test the possibility that medical conditions will go undiagnosed when not seen by a hearing healthcare provider, 7.consumer selecting an OTC hearing aid that doesn't work, putting it into the drawer, and believing that hearing aids do not work. There is no research establishing the safety and efficacy of OTC hearing aids. Hearing aids are not like 'reading glasses' which are available without a prescription and are simply magnifiers. Hearing aids are complex medical devices prescribed by a highly skilled and trained hearing healthcare provider.