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Invited Commentary
May 16, 2019

Building Effectiveness of Over-the-Counter Hearing Care

Author Affiliations
  • 1Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. Published online May 16, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2019.1127

In this issue of JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, Cho and colleagues1 assess the comparative effectiveness of a personal sound amplification product (PSAP), a basic hearing aid, and a premium hearing aid using a speech-in-noise task and listening effort measures, including a dual-task paradigm and pupillometry. The authors had adults with mild, moderate, and severe hearing loss adjust pairs of each of the devices according to how they would normally be fit in clinic (ie, PSAP fit by the user, hearing aid by an audiologist). Then participants completed the various tasks using each set of devices (randomized order) to assess their comparative benefit. In general, the authors report no significant differences between the PSAP and hearing aids when limited to persons with mild and moderate hearing loss, while participants with severe hearing loss benefited significantly more from the premium hearing aid.