Hearing management

03 June 2016

Seniors should have easier access to hearing aids

A US government advisory group is calling for changes to make treatment for hearing loss less cumbersome and expensive for older adults.

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Hearing loss is a growing public health problem that can leave older adults socially isolated and even increase the risk of dementia.

Now, a prestigious government advisory group is calling for changes to make getting treated less of a pricey hassle.

One proposal would allow some simple devices for mild hearing problems to be sold over the counter for people who can't afford or aren't ready to make the leap to full hearing aids.

Read: Hearing loss tied to cognitive decline

A new report says only a fraction of older adults who might benefit from hearing aids use them. One reason is the price — averaging about $4,700 (±R73,000) a pair.

Insurance coverage is limited. Medicare doesn't pay for them, just the diagnostic tests.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine recommends making treatment more affordable and accessible.

Read more:

Symptoms of hearing loss

Types of hearing loss

Preventing hearing loss

AP

 

Ask the Expert

Hearing Expert

Francis Slabber is a Speech & Language Therapist and Audiologist who has owned and run The Hearing Clinic in Wynberg, Cape Town for the last 17 years. Francis and her team have extensive experience in fitting and supplying hearing aids as well as assistive living devices. Francis has served as the Western Cape Chairperson for the South African Association of Audiologists for three years and has given many talks on the topic of hearing loss and amplification. The Hearing Clinic has a special interest in adult and geriatric hearing impairment, hearing aid fittings and hearing rehabilitation.

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