A recent CBS News article notes that only 20% of adults who experience hearing loss in the United States use a hearing aid, a cause for concern considering the significant impact of untreated hearing loss on cognition, depression and hospitalization.
The article outlines key barriers to accessing hearing aids, including high costs, the fact that many insurance companies fail to cover hearing aids, and the hassle of obtaining a hearing aid (which requires consultations with both a physician and audiologist).
Thankfully there is hope for the future. Over-the-counter hearing aids which do not require consultations with a doctor and audiologist beforehand can make accessing hearing aids not only more accessible but more affordable. For more information on the impact of hearing loss and the importance of accessible and affordable hearing devices, contact IFA Expert Dr. Juan Carlos Silva, Regional Advisor on Visual and Hearing Care, for the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
Sensory impairments such as hearing and vision loss are too often dismissed as a normal part of ageing. Older people deserve the right to accessible, affordable hearing devices, which will be promoted throughout the IFA 15thGlobal Conference on Ageing under the sub-theme “Maximizing Senses” where experts on the impact of hearing and vision loss on functional ability will be featured. Register for the IFA 15thGlobal Conference on Ageing “Rights Matter” today!
Sue Archbold, PhD, Hon LLD
Multi Professional Working
Quality Standards of Care
Prof. Maria Barcikowska
Dr. Jorge Óscar García Méndez