Age is the best predictor of hearing loss. 25% of all American seniors ages 65-74, and 50% of all American seniors ages 75 and over, experience hearing loss. It is estimated that those seniors ages 70 and over with hearing loss, would benefit from hearing aids. But, only 30% of those seniors actually get hearing aids.
Why do so many seniors that would benefit from hearing, fail to actually get hearing aides? One of the real reasons is that the hearing aids are just too expensive. The problem of cost may receive some relief if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is able to push through their new proposal for hearing aides.
Today, the only way to obtain hearing aids is through health professionals testing your hearing, fitting the devices to your ear(s), and adjusting the sound. The FDA is proposing for hearing aids to be available in drugstores and online. The FDA is also proposing a new category for the devices. This new category makes them more attractive to those who need hearing aids by making them more affordable and accessible.
Hearing aids are not eligible for Medicare but by removing the intermediary (health professional), they will make the cost much lower. A senior would be eligible to purchase and set-up the devices on their own. However, these purchases and set-ups are only available to those with mild to moderate hearing loss.
For more information, contact the FDA, and they will provide you with phone numbers and websites on the issue.