Hearing Health and Technology -- Workshop, Project No. P171200
I would like to express my opposition to hearing aids being sold over the counter. Many people cannot identify what kind of hearing loss they have, and it is hard enough for audiologists to get people to wear their hearing aids when society treats people who are hard of hearing as less intelligent or understanding that those in the mainstream, but when these people discover (through not having access to an audiologist) that their hearing aids don't function properly and they can't fix them themselves, the hearing aids will go into the drawer and stay there. When a person pays for an audiologist, they pay for all the adjustments necessary to their hearing aids. It is clear now from current research that there is a link between untreated hearing loss and dementia. From my perspective as Secretary on the Board of Directors of the Adult Loss of Hearing Association, when you approve over the counter hearing aids, you are likely to create a larger population with dementia.