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Good hearing essential to physical and emotional well-being

October 20, 2016

About the Author

photo of Charlotte S. Yeh, MD

Charlotte S. Yeh, MD, Chief Medical Officer, AARP Services, Inc., Guest Contributor

Dr. Charlotte Yeh is the Chief Medical Officer for AARP Services, Inc. In her role, Dr. Yeh works with the independent carriers that make health-related products and services available to AARP members, to identify programs and … See Full Bio
View all posts by Charlotte S. Yeh, MD


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Chakras do Corpo
November 4, 2016

The balance chakras provide, prosperity and well being. Thank you.

November 2, 2016

Thanks for the info.

I was thinking what can you do when the person refuses to use the hearing aid he has, because he finds it uncomfortable to wear despite the fact that it is small, wireless and discreet. Well, maybe it’s because he is on full denial phase and prefers to get use to asking people to repeat themselves or to guess parts of the conversation.

I’ll try to share this post hoping that it´ll increase his awareness that it’s not just a matter of loosing your hearing, it’s about loosing human contact and life quality.

See ya.

Joan Good
November 28, 2016

What can one do to point out hearing loss to a friend? She is using her deceased husband’s hearing aids, when she decides to wear them. She is extremely deaf and I no longer want to travel with her as it is exhausting going in conversational circles. I said something to her son, but he would prefer to ignore the problem,
as would her other three children. She also has a pattern of sticking her head in the sand. Anyone with any ideas?

November 2, 2016

Veterans can get hearing aids at no or nomial cost through the VA.

Martin Audiffred
November 1, 2016

Everything is expensive – but it is really not that expensive when you
realize that you are able to improve you hearing ability.

November 1, 2016

My husband at first (and is still) a little embarrassed about wearing hearing aids, but it really does help. And you know, they sometimes are mistaken for a bluetooth which isnt bad at all. He also has tentenitis, the ringing never stops. There are some over the counter medicines for that which he tried and it seemed to help only a little bit. When we went to a different ear Dr she told us they are useless and do not help. Well then, why did another Dr. not tell us that? I say, if it works for you then use it.

As for hearing Dr.’s, we have met a few. Two of them just wanted to sell us the most expensive of course. Even when I had insurance to cover it they sold us something not covered when I told them what my insurance will cover. Now are having the insurance company reverse the charges back to them. I won that battle. So please be careful when shopping for hearing aids. Make sure they give you the ones paid (a portion) by your insurance. These hearing aid Dr.’s are like sales people. Just want your money, even in Boston.

As for this article, I’m a bit offended by the statement increase mortality? How about being more positive? I’m so concerned about my husbands health. She should have said something more to the effect of improving your hearing/health by…..her advice from the Dr.

Thank you

Roger Keyser
November 1, 2016

I have known for years that I ought to have hearing aids but I have not taken the time or faced the exorbitant expense to be fitted. I am surprised that no smart company has taken on the hearing aid industry as one that is way overdue for truly competitive pricing. If cell phones were similarly priced, in comparison to the relatively simple electronics and development cost of hearing aids, I think a smartphone would cost more than a car. There is a huge market waiting for really disruptive marketing in the hearing aid industry.

Emma Louie
November 1, 2016

I have loss of 60% hearing in left ear due to nerve damage caused by mumps. Was told can never have hearing aid in that ear. Now, at age 90, have some hearing loss in right ear. What to do?

Martin Audiffred
November 1, 2016

Emma –
I am so very sorry that someone told you that a hearing aid would not help .No one should ever say that to someone , because the only person can say that is YOU – and for YOU to able to say that you would need to have a adjustment/trial period with a hearing aid.
Locate an audiologist, have an up-dated audiogram – and have a adjustment/trial period and you decide.

patrick green
October 31, 2016

Yes, hearing aids must be making somebody very wealth. The price is not only prohibitive but outrageous. I don’t even want to burden my insurance company with such a rip off (but I did it).

October 31, 2016

The cost of good hearing a AIDS is prohibitive for most retirees. I know I will need to replace mine soon but I don’t know how I can afford another pair. I picture myself with a little black board & chalk so people can write down what they need to say to me! !!

Barrie Wickens
October 31, 2016

Lipreading and Managing hearing loss classes can also be a great support, even to those with hearing aids.

October 31, 2016

It is not just the denial or fear that caused people who lose their hearing to wait, but also feeling ashamed and embarrassed. Many people associate hearing problem with low intelligence or cognitive ability, thus experiencing oppression, even by their loved ones. This is sadly very true to people’s own unconscious thoughts.

October 31, 2016

Although the cost is very high, the rewards are high too.
I absolutely recommend insurance to cover loss, damage, and maintenance.
My dog took advantage of my carelessness on three different occasions; she is alive and well, and I have learned by lesson.
The cost of coverage is approximately seven hundred dollars a year and there is a deductible. I have not been dropped, and continue to renew.

The incredible and sorry fact that Medicare does not cover is a travesty.
It is well documented hearing loss contributes to both the emotional and physical wellbeing of older adults thus increasing costs of Medicare. COLA cannot keep up.

Implantable hearing aids will also help with the many obstacles the elderly experience such as losing, difficulty placing molds in ear, and difficulty replacing the batteries; replacing requires both good eyesight and dexterity.

As soon as the cost of the implantable device declines, I shall switch, not only for an easier daily management, but to keep my quality of life so much better.

October 31, 2016

I’ve worn hearing aids since just before my 44th birthday, over 20 years! I can attest to their benefit. My hearing loss was very noticable because it is worst right in the middle of the range of speech sounds. It’s true that your brain has to relearn how to interpret sounds when you get hearing aids. The longer you wait, the harder it is. My mother, with similar hearing loss, could not understand words even with the best digital hearing aids, probably because she waited too late.

Hearing aids are expensive, and ought to be covered by insurance. They are bundled with the services of an audiologist, which is what drives the cost up. It’s hard to shop around, and each one seems to have their favorite product line. There are “assistive listening devices” which are inexpensive and people can try to see if they help, but I wouldn’t judge custom-programmed hearing aids by those. My current pair of digital hearing aids has lasted me about 11 years, so I’ve spent around $8.75 a week on something that has improved my life immensely.

Most audiologists have a trial period (the best give you 90 days as opposed to 30) plus a payment plan. It’s worth it to try different audiologists to get someone you’re comfortable with. I don’t like the ones who treat me like I can’t understand the technology or who are patronizing in any way (“just get the ones I say because I know best”).

Candido Bertinatto
October 28, 2016

Chakras are energy centers that allow balance and well-being and we need to pay more attention to them, as much influence on our health. Chakras in disharmony can interfere with hearing.

Alice Shepherd
October 26, 2016

If it doesn’t hurt the way some medical problems hurt, then it sits on the back burner in spite of my knowing my life would be so much better if I could afford a hearing aid of quality. At 76, I’m embarrassed by the number of times I find myself having to say, “excuse me, could you repeat that?” or nodding or saying something that might serve as a generic answer to a question I really didn’t hear clearly rather than ask for another repeat.

October 21, 2016

I agree with Bob. Who wants to run the risk of 3 to 5 thousand dollars for hearing aids which have no guarantee of efficacy nor money back guarantees? Also it’s like it used to be when buying a computer – the moment you buy one, a new and improved device will be available. As I once told the CEO of the company I work for, medical coverages offered by most endurance companies have benefits for every part of our bodies, EXCEPT OUR EARS!
Finally Dr Yeh, why did you NOT mention the costs?

October 20, 2016

Informative article, thank you.

However, the article fails to address the problem of the high cost of hearing aids, a cost that effectively puts them out of reach for many low-income seniors. It’s a “prescription drugs or groceries” kind of dilemma.

I hope our public servants find a way to help retirees on Medicare obtain these devices. But I doubt they will help anytime soon, if the 0.3% Social Security COLA for 2017 is an indicator.

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