HLAA is the leading voice for the growing number of Americans with hearing loss and is often asked to comment on hearing health issues in the media.

HLAA Media Contact
Meredith Resnick, Director of Strategic Communications 
mresnick@hearingloss.org
202.549.0807 (cell)


News Clips

September 27, 2022 — Health Day News

Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids Are Coming in October. Experts Offer Tips for Consumers

Experts offer tips for consumers as they navigate new OTC hearing aid market.

September 27, 2022 — USA Today.com

What people with hearing aids wish you knew: ‘Our struggles don’t discount us’

The availability of OTC hearing aids puts hearing help in the mainstream, changing the landscape for all people with hearing loss.

September 17, 2022 — The Wall Street Journal

Why Do All These 20-Somethings Have Closed Captions Turned On? – WSJ

HLAA Executive Director Barbara Kelley explains that wider adoption of captions makes it easier for people with hearing loss to ask for the accommodations they need.

September 4, 2022 — The Boston Globe

Over-the-counter hearing aids could bring lower prices and a burst of innovation

“Some people feel that as soon as they put that hearing aid in their ear, they’re associated with being old,” said Barbara Kelley, executive director of HLAA. Older adults, of course, suffer the most hearing loss. But many have been stragglers in embracing hearing aids. That could change if the market, projected to triple by the end of the decade, draws design innovators that bring the “cool factor” to a product long conspicuous for its dangling wires and bulbous plugs clamped behind the ears.

September 1, 2022 — WebMD

Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids: Good News, With Some Complications  

HLAA Executive Director Barbara Kelley says over-the-counter hearing aids mean “a new pathway to care” for millions of people. “Eighty percent of people who could benefit from a hearing aid don’t get one,” she says—due to some combination of stigma, denial, cost and lack of access. They may live in rural areas, far from an audiologist; they may lack medical insurance that would pay for ongoing hearing health care. “If this makes those devices affordable and accessible, normalizing them, we think it’s a good thing.”

September 1, 2022 — AARP.org 

5 Ways Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids Will Be Different From Prescription Ones 

If you are still having trouble hearing after using the built-in device settings, you may want to look for an audiologist willing to help with fitting over-the-counter hearing aids. Barbara Kelley, executive director of the Hearing Loss Association of America, predicts more audiologists will offer that service as over-the-counter options become available.

August 26, 2022 — Creators Syndicate

The Problem of Hearing Loss is Finally Being Heard

“Hearing is how we connect with all our relationships on the job in our family life. And when that starts to break down, it interrupts everything,” says Barbara Kelly, executive director of HLAA, in a recent PBS NewsHour interview.  

August 24, 2022 — MetroNews Talkline Radio Show (Charleston, WV) 

[HLAA Executive Director] Barbara Kelley on Hearing Aids

HLAA Executive Director Barbara Kelley spoke with Hoppy Kercheval on his morning radio show. She discussed the stigma around hearing aids, and the FDA final rule on Over-the-Counter (OTC) hearing aids. OTC hearing aids open a new pathway to care. HLAA’s OTC hearing aids tip sheet can be found at hearingloss.org/otc. She said, “Take the first step today. Don’t wait 5-7 years to address your hearing loss.”

August 24, 2022 — WNYC: The Brian Lehrer Show (New York Public Radio)

The FDA OKs Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids

Host Brian Lehrer’s featured guests were NY Times FDA correspondent Christina Jewett and Lauren Dragan, senior staff writer at Wirecutter. HLAA Executive Director Barbara Kelley and others from HLAA contributed to OTC hearing aid news pieces filed by Ms. Jewett and Ms. Dragan, which are linked below the show audio. 

August 23, 2022 — The Los Angeles Times (republished by MSN.com)

The FDA says you can get hearing aids without a prescription. Here’s how 

People who’ve been told they need hearing aids typically wait five to seven years to get them, said Barbara Kelley, executive director of HLAA. . . . It’s important to remember that the market for these devices is in its infancy. Although millions of Americans might benefit from hearing aids, there’s no telling how many will buy over the counter. If the field draws in more consumer electronics companies, Kelley said, all sorts of innovation could ensue.

August 23, 2022 — The Baltimore Sun (Subscription Required)

Marylanders with hearing loss will soon be able to find help at the store after federal rule change

Many people are never diagnosed or treated due to cost, stigma and other barriers, despite the difficulties and other conditions associated with hearing loss, according to the Hearing Loss Association of America. “We are hopeful that over-the-counter options will inspire some to take a first step to treat their hearing loss sooner,” said Barbara Kelley, executive director of the group, in a statement. “Ultimately this can mean a better quality of life, and avoiding the increased risk of dementia, falls and isolation associated with untreated hearing loss.”

August 23, 2022 — Living with Hearing Loss.com

OTC Hearing Aids Could Have Saved Me Years of Struggle

Many audiological organizations have expressed their excitement about the ruling. As has HLAA, the largest nonprofit in the United States representing the hearing loss consumer. Listen to HLAA Executive Director Barbara Kelley share her thoughts about the final rule with PBS here. A transcript is available at the same link. HLAA also has a wonderful tip sheet for people considering an OTC hearing aid on their website.

August 23, 2022 — New York Daily News (Subscription Required)

Main Article: Over-the-counter FDA ruling can help millions, brings hearing health into public eye: experts

“We’ve been fighting for affordable and accessible hearing health care for many years,” Barbara Kelley, executive director of the Hearing Loss Association of America, told The News. “This is another avenue where people can take a step on their own if they perceive that they have hearing loss. It just opens another avenue for people to pay attention to their hearing health,” she said.

August 23, 2022 — New York Daily News (Subscription Required)

Sidebar: How to know if you need an over-the-counter hearing aid, or a doctor

Not all hearing loss is equal. Audiologists and hearing experts offered up tips on how to know if over-the-counter aids are right for you, and when hearing symptoms should entail a doctor visit. “It’s only for adults with perceived mild to moderate hearing loss,” said Barbara Kelley, executive director of the Hearing Loss Association of America. 
This piece was republished by Yahoo! News

August 22, 2022 — The New York Times Wirecutter

The Best Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids and Other Hearing Solutions

If you’re new to hearing loss, the Hearing Loss Association of America is a great resource for keeping up on the latest laws and technologies, seeking medical advice, participating in advocacy, and finding community. HLAA also has a handy OTC hearing aid tip sheet to help get you started. Wirecutter’s Lauren Dragan engaged with HLAA for insight into the obstacles that the hearing loss community encounters when considering and obtaining hearing aids. She spoke with HLAA Executive Director Barbara Kelley and HLAA Director of Public Policy Lise Hamlin. She also sought advice on the testing plan from Linda Kozma-Spytek, research audiologist and technology consultant for HLAA, co-lead investigator on the Industry Consumer Alliance for Accessible Technology, a development project of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Technology Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center at Gallaudet University.

August 22, 2022 — AOL.com

How Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids Could Save You Thousands

The Hearing Loss Association of America offers this tip sheet to help you decide if OTC hearing aids are right for you. It also includes questions to ask yourself when shopping around for a new device.

August 20, 2022 — PBS NewsHour/PBS News Weekend

Hearing Aid Access

HLAA Executive Director Barbara Kelley said, “More than 80% of Americans who could benefit from hearing aids don’t get them. Over-the-Counter (OTC) hearing aids open a new pathway to care. OTC hearing aids are for adults with self-perceived mild to moderate hearing loss. HLAA advocated for a 45-day return policy on OTC hearing aids, which will be available in stores in mid-October. For OTC hearing aid purchases, it is important to read the box. If there is no return policy listed on the box, then you cannot return your OTC hearing aids to the store. System adjustments may be needed. If an OTC hearing aid doesn’t work for you, try another product, or consult a hearing care professional, such as an audiologist or hearing instrument specialist.”

August 18, 2022 — Kaiser Health News Morning Briefing

On hearing aids – The Washington Post: Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids Will Soon Be Available. Here’s What to Know and NPR: Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids Will Bring Some Relief, But With Some Confusion 

HLAA put together a tip sheet to guide consumers who stand to benefit from OTC hearing aids. “Medicare doesn’t cover hearing aids or exams for fitting hearing aids,” the government program’s website states. “You pay 100% of the cost for hearing aids and exams.” Many Americans might be surprised that the federal insurance program doesn’t offer help to people who are most likely to need hearing aids. But it’s by design. 

August 18, 2022 — The Philadelphia Inquirer republished by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Hearing aids will now be available without a hearing test. Here’s what to know

The new FDA final rule does not necessarily exclude audiologists from the equation, said Barbara Kelley, executive director of the HLAA. A patient could buy an over-the-counter hearing aid at a store yet still seek testing or guidance from an audiologist, she said.

August 17, 2022 — Marketplace

FDA rule clears hearing aids for over-the-counter sale

Barbara Kelley with the Hearing Loss Association of America hopes the rule change will shake up what’s currently a highly concentrated market and drive down prices. “The marketplace is going to bear out over the next couple years. What we hope to see is innovation,” she said, adding that people with severe hearing loss will still need to see an audiologist and get prescription devices.

August 17, 2022 — The Washington Post

What to know before buying over-the-counter hearing aids

The new class of devices will be designed to help people with self-perceived mild to moderate hearing loss, according to Barbara Kelley, executive director of HLAA, which has put together a tip sheet to guide consumers who stand to benefit.

August 17, 2022 — NPR

Over-the-counter hearing aids will bring relief, but with some confusion 

“We’re really excited about the market,” said Barbara Kelley, executive director of HLAA. But, she added, “we think it’s going to be confusing for consumers.”

August 17, 2022 — DC News Now

The FDA OK’d hearing aids over the counter. Will Americans save thousands? 

On the existing over-the-counter supply, HLAA Executive Director Barbara Kelley said some devices “will probably cross over [into the market], and they might not look like traditional hearing aids,” adding products may look like “ear buds that you use with a smartphone,” to raise the volume of the person’s voice.

August 17, 2022 — Kiplinger

Hearing Aids to be Sold Over the Counter 

HLAA Executive Director Barbara Kelley noted that many consumers will still need treatment and advice from hearing-care professionals. “But opening more options is a big step in the right direction for a growing problem that affects one in seven Americans.” HLAA has a tip sheet giving detailed guidance, including questions to ask about over-the-counter hearing aids.

August 17, 2022 — WebMD

Hearing Aids Available in October Without a Prescription 

“People might first notice hearing loss on phone calls where they don’t have the visual cues of speaking in person, during meetings at work, or when trying to follow conversations in a noisy restaurant, for example,” says Barbara Kelley, executive director of HLAA. 

August 17, 2022 — FOX5 Washington, D.C.

FDA allows hearing aids to be sold over-the-counter; When you could see them in stores 

“Hearing aids sold over the counter we think will likely be less expensive,” said HLAA Executive Director Barbara Kelley, who added that hearing aids currently cost thousands of dollars, even on the low end. They also aren’t covered by most insurance plans or Medicare. “This opens up a new avenue, a new pathway to care.”

August 17, 2022 — The Washington Post “The Health 202”

Americans can soon buy hearing aids over the counter

The Food and Drug Administration cleared the way for millions of Americans to buy hearing aids over the counter — a move aimed at increasing competition, spurring innovation and driving down the cost of the pricey medical devices. 

August 17, 2022 — WHEC-NBC10-TV (Rochester, N.Y.) 

Consumer Alert: All you need to know about OTC hearing aids

Also, the Rochester chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America is another great resource. Click here for more information.

August 16, 2022 — AARP.org

The FDA Approves Cheaper, Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids

“One reason that people don’t get hearing aids is access to care — they don’t have access to an audiologist or they don’t know how to get into the system,” says Barbara Kelley, executive director of the Hearing Loss Association of America, a consumer advocacy group. “From our point of view, this provides another entry point for consumers … and we’re very excited about it.”

August 16, 2022 — Consumer Reports

Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids Could Be in Stores This Fall 

HLAA Executive Director Barbara Kelley says that many consumers may not be certain whether an OTC hearing aid is a good option for them, or whether they should see an audiologist or another healthcare provider for a hearing problem. The HLAA’s website offers tips on how to figure out if an OTC might be a good choice for you.

August 16, 2022 — Scripps

Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids

“Many people with hearing loss wait five to seven years to take action,” said Barbara Kelley, HLAA Executive Director. “This encourages people to take the first step.”

August 16, 2022 — The Washington Post

FDA moves to make over-the-counter hearing aids available to millions

Stigma, lack of access and confusion about how to get the best health care often prevent people — especially older Americans — from taking care of their hearing health, said Barbara Kelley, executive director of the Hearing Loss Association of America. This option will benefit countless Americans who might need hearing assistance in perhaps restaurants or large family gatherings without necessarily seeking a hearing professional, she said.

August 16, 2022 – The New York Times

FDA Clears Path for Hearing Aids to Be Sold Over the Counter

“The hearing health care professional is not going to go away,” said Barbara Kelley, executive director of the Hearing Loss Association of America, a consumer group. “The over-the-counter rule opens a new avenue that is huge for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss to take that step sooner than later. And that’s what we’re really excited about.”

August 16, 2022 – NPR Morning Edition

Millions of Americans will soon be able to buy hearing aids without a prescription

If you’re thinking about buying over-the-counter hearing aids yourself, check out these tips from the Hearing Loss Association of America.

August 16, 2022 — The New York Times 

Hearing Aids Will Soon Be Sold Over the Counter: Here’s What You Need to Know 

“Don’t give up,” HLAA Executive Director Barbara Kelley said. “Get a hearing test, get an exam.” Hearing loss has been linked to a slew of comorbidities, she said — it’s a risk factor for falls, dementia and depression. “The important thing is to try something,” she said.

August 16, 2022 — Associated Press

FDA approves over-the-counter hearing aids

“With the over the counter market, these devices are intended for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss,” said HLAA Executive Director Barbara Kelley. “80% of the people who would benefit from a hearing aid don’t get one due to stigma, lack of access to health care, etc.”