November 9, 2018 – Hearing Loss Impact


Anchor lead: Will a new, lower priced hearing aid encourage more people to use them? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Have you or someone you love experienced hearing loss? You may know that such loss is usually progressive, leads to social isolation and is associated with an increased risk for dementia. Now a newly FDA-approved hearing aid that people can both buy and fit themselves, developed by Bose, will soon be available. Nicholas Reed, an audiologist and researcher at Johns Hopkins, says if this helps more people to use the devices earlier, that’s all to the good.

Reed: A big problem is people wait, on average eight years, before doing anything about their hearing loss. When you wait that long you can imagine, you’re living with hearing loss every day, your brain changes, your perception of the world changes, so it’s much better for people to come in having used amplification over time, they’re going to adapt to hearing aids, it’s going to be a much easier process over time, it’s a good thing overall. :24

Reed notes that hearing aids are devices with FDA approval, while personal sound amplification devices are not, although they may be essentially the same. He counsels seeking expert advice if you’re considering such a purchase. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.