By Jessica Murray
Santa Clarita Audiologist Nola Aronson of Advanced Audiology assesses the over-the-counter hearing aid bill after its proposal by Massachusetts State Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Hearing loss is something that affects many of us as we get older, some of us even before then.
“Senator Elizabeth Warren is trying to put forth an over-the-counter hearing aid, like reading glasses,” Aronson explained. “Anybody can just go in and buy it.”
At first thought, the idea of an over-the-counter hearing aid might sound amazing because of its accessibility, but hearing aids are not something that can be simply sold as a one-size-fits-all commodity.
“I don’t know if that’s going to be really a detriment to everybody,” Aronson said. “Hearing aids have to be fit correctly in the ear. If you think the hearing aid is too tiny, how are you going to get that changed if there’s nowhere for you to (go)?”
Having an incorrectly fitted hearing aid over-the-counter might end up being counterproductive because the sound amplitude might not be right, or what will most likely happen is that hearing aid users will not realize that their devices need to be serviced to continue functioning properly, according to Aronson.
“Everybody says, ‘Oh, these don’t work,’ … and they don’t wear their hearing aids,” she explained. “Well, that’s because they didn’t go to the right person, the person that follows them along and takes care of them the whole time.”
The proposed bill could affect how audiologists structure their pricing for devices and servicing.
“I’m so used to giving my services away and making it so that people are successful with their hearing so they can lead a better, social life,” she said. “It’s really hard for me to change my ways.”
Advanced Audiology was founded in 2010 by Santa Clarita audiologist Nola Aronson, who has been fitting hearing aids for more than 30 years. Advanced Audiology is the largest diagnostic hearing center in the Santa Clarita Valley, focusing on clients with hearing loss, tinnitus, ears ringing and more. Hearing tests, hearing aids and new sound infrared devices are also available at Advanced Audiology in addition to a complete hearing healthcare program that includes free batteries, quarterly cleanings and adjustments.
23822 Valencia Blvd. #103
Valencia, CA 91355