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  • An audiologist speaks out on the “OTC hearing aid bill”.
    14 Jun , 2017













    An audiologist speaks out on the “OTC hearing aid bill”.


    “The OTC hearing aid bill should fall on deaf ears”.


    I am an audiologist in South Charleston. As you may be aware, there is an Over the Counter Hearing Act (of 2017), Senate Bill 670 and/or companion HR Bill 1652. I and many other audiologists feel this bill severely downplays the importance of better hearing.


    As audiologists, we assess, diagnose, rehabilitate and offer continued support for individuals with hearing impairment and communication difficulties. We recognize that success with hearing aids depends on multiple factors, including an accurate diagnosis. Allowing hearing aids to be an over-the-counter item completely disregards any type of diagnosis. There are some forms of hearing loss that are not “fixed” with hearing aids. Only a complete evaluation by an audiologist will show the difference. Patients need formal evaluations by a knowledgeable person who knows that hearing better is not just about buying a device. Fitting hearing aids is a science that I had to go to school for more than four years to study. Fittings should be based on that science and proven outcomes, not assumptions and guesses.


    Patients that have tried “mail order” hearing aids report that they do not succeed with them and it puts a bad taste in their mouth about hearing aids in general. A truly successful hearing aid fitting is done with Probe Mic Real Ear Measures. Without this test, no one truly knows how a hearing aid will succeed in an ear.


    I have a lot of passion about this subject and truly hope that this bill is defeated.


    Source: Bethany Porter, The Hearing Place, South Charleston, The Charleston Gazette

    Image credit: 123RF