US May Legalize Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids

Posted by - Hearing Aids.

The Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2016, sponsored by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), would allow certain hearing aids to be sold over the counter and would eliminate the “burdensome requirement” that consumers get a medical evaluation or sign a medical waiver before purchasing OTC hearing aids. The Act would also require the FDA to issue regulations containing safety and labeling requirements for OTC hearing aids and to update its draft guidance on Personal Sound Amplification Products (PSAPs). The senators said they would introduce the legislation when Congress reconvenes before the end of the year.

Hearing Tracker and HLAA: Partnering for Best Practices in Hearing Care

Posted by - Finding a Hearing Provider, Hearing Aids.

The majority of advertising on the web, in-print publications, and on the radio and TV devalues the importance of proper hearing evaluation, needs assessment, counseling and overemphasizes discounts and promotions— and promises miraculous results with hearing aids only. Many of these practices can get away with providing a lower standard of care because consumers are focused on the wrong thing—the hearing aid—and they are not as educated (like HLAA members are) about what clinical services they should expect and demand.

Hearing Loss Association of America Convention to Highlight a Huge Year For Accessibility Regulation

Posted by - General.

This has been a huge year for consumers with hearing loss. The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) issued a landmark (and highly controversial) report on the state of the hearing healthcare industry, with a focus on access to care, and hearing aid affordability. The Institute of Medicine (IoM) also held a four part “Committee on Accessible and Affordable Hearing Health Care for Adults.” The FDA’s regulation of affordable hearing aid alternatives was a hot topic of discussion at the IoM, and PCAST called for the deregulation of over-the-counter basic hearing aids. Meanwhile, the FCC is in the process of revising its Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC) rules for mobile phones. Tech giant Apple has even become involved, asking the FCC to remove the telecoil requirement.

The Hearing Loss Association of America Confirms Plans for Convention 2016

Posted by - Events.

The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), the nation’s leading organization representing people with hearing loss, invites you to attend Convention 2016, being held June 23-26, 2016 at the Washington Hilton Hotel, Washington, D.C. The Convention, now in its 31st year, features an extensive educational program and exhibit hall and trade show for people with hearing loss as well as their families and professionals who work with them.

Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids Controversy

Posted by - General.

In October 2015, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) delivered Aging America & Hearing Loss: Imperative of Improved Hearing Technologies, which targets America’s worsening hearing loss epidemic. The report proposes a number of regulatory changes, at the level of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which PCAST believes will “decrease the cost of hearing aids, spur technology innovation, and increase consumer choice options.”

Best Practices in Hearing Enhancement

Posted by - Finding a Hearing Provider, General.

Knowing what I do for a living, my neighbor Jack contacted me to ask for help. He had been seen by a local audiologist and had some questions. As we sat at my kitchen table, I looked over his audiogram. The handout from his audiologist showed a table of four models of one brand of hearing aid with the prices of each model listed along the bottom of the page. In small print, the table listed 28 possible features, all of them related to hearing aid circuitry. As the price of the hearing aid increased, more features were listed as available.

Where to Donate Hearing Aids

Posted by - Donation Programs.

The Hearing Loss Association – Lakeland Chapter is launching a new program to offer the gift of hearing. This program will collect, inspect, clean, repair and donate hearing aids to those who need hearing assistance and are financially challenged. The Lakeland program is superior to many other hearing aid donation programs, in the sense that it provides more than just a hearing aid to those in need.

Finding a Good Audiologist

Posted by - For Consumers, General.

The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) recently invited us to do a webinar on best practice hearing care. We covered a number of topics, including: The problem with hearing care, What to look for in a hearing provider, Understanding hearing aid features, How to improve your care with Hearing Tracker