& Continuing Education Courses
Sponsored by: Jordan Hearing and Balance, LLC South Jordan Utah
Lynn S. Alvord PhD
Hearing Aid Types, Providers, and Insurance
Few persons in need of hearing aids actually obtain or wear them. Consider the following statement by the NIDCD:
“Among adults aged 70 and older with hearing loss that could benefit from hearing aids, fewer than one in three (30 percent) has ever used them. Even fewer adults aged 20 to 69 (approximately 16 percent) who could benefit from wearing hearing aids have ever used them. (NIH website, compiled by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders).
The irony of this situation is that today’s hearing aids are better than ever. Recently, digital hearing aids are smaller, more flexible, have fewer problems with whistling and have features that were never available before. Still, most people would prefer not to have to wear a hearing aid.
Hearing loss is an insidious disorder, coming on so gradually that the patient is often persuaded that there is no problem other than that people “don’t speak as clearly as they used to”.
Cochlear implants, meant generally for those who would not or do not do well with hearing aids because the loss is so severe, are becoming more and more effective and applicable to patients with less and less hearing loss. Generally speaking, hearing loss must be quite severe to warrant a cochlear implant. Insurance often pays for the cochlear implant and surgery to some extent at least. The type of doctor likely to deal with these is an “otologist”, who is an ENT doctor with further than the usual training on ears. They are also usually the specialist dealing with implantable bone conduction hearing aids such as Baha, and other surgically implanted hearing devices.