Hearing Health and Technology -- Workshop, Project No. P171200 #00110

Submission Number:
James Lootens
Initiative Name:
Hearing Health and Technology -- Workshop, Project No. P171200
I am a 75 year old who has been wearing hearing aids for 3 years. I had my first hearing test after the age of 70; and found out that I should have been using hearing aids for 10 to 15 years earlier. If not for the Veterans Administration would still not be wearing hearing aids, especially ones programed for my loss and fitted to my ears. How would I, or anyone else, know what device to purchase OTC? Why does anyone believe that the market will keep consumer prices low? History shows that the many layers of distribution, packaging, and advertising add to the final retail cost. OTC pharmaceuticals cost many times the value of their active ingredients. Who would "police" the claims and ethics of OTC sellers? Yes, many people should be utilizing the technological wonders which are available to help them understand human speech, but this program has too many shortcomings. Insurance and Medicare coverage of professional examinations including "speech recognition" tests and the subsequent education about hearing loss might be a better path. I, for example, hear just fine; I just can not understand human speech in my native language without my hearing aids.