I heard it again last week when a patient came in for some minor hearing aid maintenance. “I never realized how much I was missing!” She said this when we had her hearing aids back up to speed and she was ready to leave the office. The remark was in reference to how she was hearing a couple of years ago, before she was properly fitted with a pair of hearing aids. Please keep the remark in mind as you consider the following:Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download
The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) recently published their report on the accessibility and affordability of hearing care in the U.S. They recognize hearing loss as a substantial national problem and point out high cost, low innovation, and current distribution channels as barriers to hearing care.
One of their recommendations is to make devices for bilateral, gradual-onset, mild to moderate age-related hearing loss available over the counter (OTC). They make the assumption that such devices are appropriate for OTC sale because “consumers are able to self-diagnose, self-treat, and self-manage” their mild to moderate, age-related hearing loss. The assumption of self-diagnosis, which must be a prelude to self-treatment and self-management, is a flawed assumption.
One of the main reasons audiologists do objective tests of auditory function and subjective hearing handicap questionnaires is that patients vary widely in their ability to understand their hearing loss and its impact. It is not unusual to find someone with a mild to moderate hearing loss who denies having a hearing problem at all!
I’ll address self-treatment, self-management and other issues from the report in later posts.