I'd like to draw your attention to a wonderful article written by Jane Brody and recently featured in the NY Times. It chronicles the ups and downs of people who need hearing aids but face a myriad of obstacles, many self-imposed, in choosing whether to buy, wear, or pay for them.
With an aging population where one in five adults is facing hearing loss (that's 50 million Americans), a better understanding of the need for these devices, and the technical advances that have made them more effective, is crucial.
Also crucial is an awareness that hearing loss is a gradual condition that can often be denied by the person affected. It can even go untreated after relying on some audiology test results. That's because there is no hard number that says "now you need a hearing aid, or now you don't." The question to be asked and answered by your audiologist is will a hearing aid improve my quality of life?
The article goes on to point out that psychological factors are at play as well. Acquiring a hearing aid is often only half the battle. Understanding why some people stuff them in a drawer and choose not to wear them can empower you (or someone you know) to ask those same questions of themselves and address them appropriately.
Finally, hearing aids come at a financial cost that can be challenging for some families, but it is important to know that bargain shopping isn't the answer. To understand why, and get a deeper perspective on all of the issues raised, please read Jane's full story here.