Nearly 80 Congressional staffers, guests, and hearing health professionals recently attended a Congressional briefing and screening event that was organized by the Hearing Industries Association (HIA) and hosted by the Friends of the Congressional Hearing Health Caucus (FCHHC). As part of the event, the FCHHC honored Congressional Representatives Tom Latham (R-IA) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) who have served as co-chairs of the rejuvenated Congressional Hearing Health Caucus (CHHC). Both are retiring at the end of the year and both have expressed eagerness to continue to work to increase Congress’ focus on hearing health and the Hearing Aid Tax Credit.
Frank Lin, MD, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in Baltimore Md, was the featured speaker. He discussed the importance of addressing hearing loss to support the healthy aging process. He also reported on his studies, which indicate untreated hearing loss is related to a 40% accelerated rate of cognitive decline in older adults. Dr Lin noted that the question of whether treating hearing loss could delay cognitive and physical decline or dementia remains unknown, but he also reported that a randomized clinical trial to address this question is being planned with the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Attendees were invited to have their hearing screened by audiologists, and Jeffrey Kim, MD, FACS, Georgetown University Medical Center and Michelle Roeser, MD, an otolaryngologist, examined participants’ ears using a video otoscope.
FCHHC members include representatives from hearing health organizations, parents of children with hearing loss, hearing health professionals, and schools, as well as HIA members.