Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Make buying over-the-counter hearing aids easier

Can someone explain to me why can't someone purchase hearing aids over-the-counter and without a prescription?

Columnist Stephen Moore, writing for Investor's Business Daily, thinks it should be possible.
I mean, dudes, we're talking hearing aids, not opioids.

Soon I may need a hearing aid. No one's hearing gets better over time.

From that column:
Congress will soon vote on a bill called the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act that would allow much easier access to over-the-counter hearing aids. And get this: The bill is bipartisan, sponsored by Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Reps. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Joseph Kennedy, D-Mass. (This may be the first and last time I've ever been on the side of Elizabeth Warren!)

Here's why this bill is important to the health and well-being of millions of Americans like me. According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine's report "Hearing Health Care for Adults," more than two-thirds of the 30 million people in the U.S. with hearing loss may benefit from hearing aids but do not use them.

Why don't they? Because they're too expensive. A 2014 report by the Consumer Technology Association finds that the high price for prescription aids is a major barrier to consumers. Prescription hearing aids typically cost $1,000 to $6,000, or about 10 times the cost of OTC aids.

Current law prohibits over-the-counter personal sound amplification performance systems (PSAPs) from making any claim to treat hearing loss. The Food and Drug Administration, which regulates hearing aids, places prohibitions on advertising for these cheaper devices, claiming they don't significantly improve hearing. I can personally attest that PSAPs do help, especially when standing in a crowded room with a lot of ambient noise or talking on the phone.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

An honest hearing aid provider will explain that prescription hearing aids don't cure hearing loss either. Nothing short of surgery can do that. And in many cases even surgery doesn't help.