Last week the Senate passed the bipartisan-supported OTC Hearing Aid Act as part of the Food and Drug Administration funding bill. The bill passed the House in mid-July, and the president is expected to sign it as well. The OTC Hearing Aid Act gives the FDA three years to enact a plan to regulate over-the-counter hearing aids, which experts like otologist and surgeon Frank Lin, M.D., Ph.D., say is key to improving hearing loss treatment.
Among adults with hearing loss, fewer than 20 percent use hearing aids, which can cost $6,000 for a pair. And Lin’s research shows that mild hearing loss doubles dementia risk, moderate loss triples risk, severe hearing loss increases risk of dementia by five times — making hearing loss treatment a public health issue.
Lin can speak on key benefits that this bill can achieve including 1) affordability 2) accessibility 3) fostering new technology and innovation and 4) awareness.