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Hearing management

Updated 29 November 2017

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.

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

 

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Hearing Expert

Minette Lister graduated with a Bachelor of Communication Pathology (Audiology) from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville in 2015. Thereafter, she completed her compulsory year of community service at Phoenix Assessment and Therapy Centre in Durban. In 2017, Minette started working for Thompson and Hoffman Audiology Inc. She is passionate about working with children and adults to diagnose and manage hearing loss using state of the art technology. Minette offers hearing screening programmes for newborn and high-risk babies, as well as school-aged children, in order to decrease the incidence of late or unidentified hearing loss.

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