Table 2.

Current Options for Accessing Hearing Care

OptionTrainingServicesLimitationsBest Clinical Utility
AudiologistAuD or PhDGold-standard aural rehabilitation and HA fittingHigh cost, accessMild to severe HL
Hearing aid specialistHigh school, apprenticeshipHA testing and fittingLimited rehabilitation and customizationMild to moderate HL
OtolaryngologistMDMedical and surgical evaluation/treatmentSevere HL, medical management
Primary care physicianMDHearing screening, referral, and care coordinationSelective screening, education, referral
Internet salesNoneDirect-to-consumer sale of HAs, PSAPs, and ALDsNo aural rehabilitation, fitting, or customizationMild to moderate HL with existing care
Over-the-counter salesNoneDirect sale of PSAPs and ALDs onlyNo aural rehabilitation, fitting, or customizationNo to mild HL
  • ALD, assistive listening device; HA, hearing aid; HL, hearing loss; PSAP, personal sound amplification product.