The Audiology team at Trinity Health supports the development of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids. We understand that hearing aids are expensive and that not every patient will receive hearing healthcare in a traditional manner. Consumers have been asking for a change in delivery models, a decrease in cost, and an increase in hearing healthcare transparency for many years. We are committed to meeting these demands. Our team has already implemented the nationally recognized service delivery model of itemization. By doing so, hearing aid costs have decreased, patients are able to see the breakdown of fees for goods/services, and the portfolio of products we offer has expanded to include personal sound amplifiers at lower costs.
Upon FDA approval, OTC hearing aids will be available in our clinic and the Trinity pharmacies. Our team will be here to help patients use and receive maximum benefit from these devices, as we do now with any make/model of hearing aid.
We follow the American Academy of Audiology’s best practice protocols for hearing aid fittings and we know the value of the professional’s role in the proper hearing rehabilitation. When purchasing OTC hearing aids, patients would also benefit from other important steps in hearing rehabilitation:
We strongly encourage every patient to receive a hearing evaluation with a skilled hearing healthcare provider prior to obtaining any type of hearing aid or personal sound amplifier. Hearing loss can be caused by a number of manageable conditions, such as ear wax or middle ear fluid. Hearing loss can also be caused by lesions along the hearing nerve or in conjunction with other disease processes. Diagnostic hearing evaluation will confirm your current hearing levels, whether there are medical treatments, and/or whether hearing aids, cochlear implants, and assistive devices are appropriate for you.
Our audiologists and ears, nose, and throat (ENT) physicians are dedicated to providing high-level hearing healthcare treatment to every patient. We work closely with the ENT team and make referrals for medical management whenever appropriate. We also may make referrals to the neurology, speech pathology, physical therapy, or psychology teams when indicated.
Hearing aid verification
Research has continually shown that hearing aids providing increased access to speech result in better outcomes than hearing aids that do not provide as much aided speech audibility. The only way to ensure appropriate hearing aid fitting is to measure the hearing aid settings on the patient’s ear and verify the hearing aid is meeting the patient’s hearing loss prescription. Under-fitting hearing aids results in decreased patient satisfaction with hearing aid use, decreased word understanding in noise, poorer academic performance, and possibly compromised brain organization.
Every patient in our clinic receives on-ear verification of hearing aid settings when the hearing aid is fit and prior to the end of the evaluation and adjustment period. We want to verify that your hearing aid is meeting your hearing loss needs and providing optimal access to speech for your hearing loss.