20% of Americans over the age of 45 suffer from some sort of hearing loss, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. These rates continue to climb the older the age group gets. The institute reported that nearly 33% of Americans from ages 65 to 74 suffer from hearing loss, while 50% suffer at age 75.
The causes of the most common type hearing loss found in adults include aging and excessive exposure to loud noises. Although aging can’t be controlled, damage done by rock concerts, lawn mowers, and factory machinery can be minimized by wearing earplugs. This type of hearing loss is often difficult to treat because the damage is done to the inner ear and can’t be reversed. Another type of hearing loss originates in the middle/outer ear and is caused by the over-accumulation of earwax, fluid buildup, and use of specific medicines. If you suffer from hearing loss, here are some treatments that may be of some interest to you.
• Digital hearing aids: Modern digital hearing aids transmit sound to a microchip, which intelligently amplifies certain frequencies to appropriate volumes. Older hearing aids raised the sound of the entire environment which meant an increased volume of background noise. Present-day aids are extremely modernized. Several hearing aids filter out wind, and some can sync up with Bluetooth technology.
Choosing a hearing aid: Different hearing aids have different features and differing levels of sophistication, and depending on where you get them, they could range anywhere from $1,000 to $6,000. Medicare and most private insurers don’t cover hearing aids, but take a look at your health plan to make sure. Veterans may be eligible to get free aids at Veterans Affairs facilities.
• Assistive listening devices: If you have only slight hearing damage, and you just need slight assistance, there are a variety of devices available to you. Some include apps that let you increase volume with your earphones and smartphones. You can also find amplified, vibrating, and flashing devices for doorbells, telephones, and even alarm clocks.
Choosing an assistive listening device: Vibrating alarm clocks can cost from $15 to $95, but can be found online fairly cheap. Doorbell signalers range from $50 to $200. Check out the reviews online, they are insightful and can help you find what you want.
Source: Washington Post