On April 18, 2017 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held a workshop on hearing health and technology.

The event consisted of several panels that included 1-2 FTC moderators and 4-5 professionals in multiple disciplines related to hearing healthcare. While we believe the discussion lacked representation from current private practice Audiologists (which we’ll touch on more below), the discussion as a whole helped illuminate the current and trending state of hearing loss, hearing aids, hearing technology, and hearing health services.

Based on this conversation, current data trends, and several thoughts of our own, we’d like to present you with The State of Hearing Healthcare 2017.

Overview

Before we dive in, let’s first talk about how to use this report.

For the most part, we have used the questions submitted by consumers and hearing professionals, along with the FTC moderators. Many of the responses we give are from the panelists that were present (you can find a full list of them here).

We’ve also expanded on the conversation to site studies and data that weren’t provided at the event, and we challenge everyone to use that information for further research.

In addition, please note that many of the conversations center around the idea of a new category of hearing aids: over the counter (OTC). If you’re not up to date on that, make sure you read about it first, before jumping into the following sections.

Lastly, the most disappointing facet of the FTC event was the fact that not a single practicing (i.e. in an ENT office, or current private practice) audiologist was on any of the panels. So, this report will include comments from Everyday Hearing’s audiologist on many aspects that weren’t addressed.

Hearing Loss: Recent Data from the CDC