On September 10, 2012, the Wall Street Journal ran an article and online video that places personal sound amplification products (PSAPs) in a favorable light, and it is apparent from the author’s focus that these products are positioned for people with mild hearing loss, a case that the major professional organizations, as well as the Hearing Industries Association, have been making to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with little headway. (See Friday’s news item, “The PSAP Problem: ASHA, ADA, and IHS File Joint Letter with FDA”.)
The WSJ article, written by Melinda Beck, acknowledges that PSAPs are intended to help people with normal hearing, while hearing aids are designed for people with hearing loss and are therefore regulated by the FDA. However, Beck then writes:
“But the distinctions are blurring, with some PSAPs boasting the same technology that digital hearing aids offer for hundreds, not thousands, of dollars. Meanwhile, online retailers such as America Hears Inc and Audicus are selling custom-programmed hearing aids at steep discounts direct to consumers when they send in their hearing-test results.”
Beck also appears in the video and reviews several of the devices. Check the article and video out yourself here.