President Biden recently signed an executive order for over-the-counter hearing aids. While I commend President Biden’s efforts, they are short-sighted. Over-the-counter hearing aids have been available for some time. The FDA was mandated to establish a regulatory category for this type of hearing aids in 2017. The FDA regulates hearing devices, as they can adversely affect hearing if fit incorrectly.
The prices of hearing aids quoted was ridiculous. Hearing aids are available in all price ranges. I might add that the Bose hearing aids are over $800.00 a piece and come with no testing, fitting or personalized instruction regarding how to use them. We have hearing aids available for $800.00 that include programming, counseling and follow-up care for two years. The high cost of hearing aids is not price gouging. Hearing aids can be expensive., but most audiologists include services in the price of the hearing aids. These services include, programming and fitting hearing aids, counselling and ongoing care. My goal is to help you hear the best you can, not to sell you hearing aids.
Electronics firms want to get into the hearing aid market because they see it as being very lucrative. Developing hearing aids is very expensive. Hearing aid manufacturers spend years researching and developing hearing aids. Over the years, I have seen many large companies try to break into the hearing aid market with little success. Many have been burned by investing in these products when support disappears. The hearing aid manufacturers that I work with are all well established and only make hearing aids. All have been around for over 40 years, one company is over 100 years old.
The ear is a very complex organ. Most individuals underestimate the degree of their hearing loss and don’t know what to look for with hearing aids. Over-the-counter aids are only for mild-to-moderate hearing loss. It is my job to help you select the hearing aids that will work the best for you.
Hearing aids are not the solution for everyone. Sometimes, simply removing ear wax returns hearing to normal. Sometimes, medical care is necessary. Without a proper evaluation, there is no way to know cause or degree of hearing loss. Hearing aids have frequently been compared to reading glasses. This is not a good comparison. For most individuals, hearing loss is more like macular degeneration. Simply putting on a pair of hearing aids will not give you the results you need.
Hearing Care is Health Care. There is a reason that I have years of training. It is always in your best interest to have a hearing evaluation by a competent professional before proceeding with hearing aids. (A hearing evaluation is generally covered by insurance). The real issue is that Medicare does not cover hearing care. Please contact your representatives and urge them to support Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act (MAASA) of 2021 – https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-bill/1731
We are here to help if you or a family member is having any difficulties with hearing, hearing aids, hearing aid apps or Tinnitus please give us a call at 727-323-2471 and set up an appointment.
We can help you.
Susan E. Terry, Au.D., F-AAA, F-NAP
Doctor of Audiology
P.S. We are here to help if you have any questions about your hearing, feel free to give us a call at 727-323-2471