Odds are you will experience hearing loss as you age. According to recent statistics, more than half of adults in their 70s have some degree of age-related hearing loss, and that number skyrockets up to 80% for people 80 and over. Unfortunately though, most current hearing loss sufferers are not doing anything to improve their hearing ability. So what are the problems preventing people from seeking treatment for this common and debilitating condition?
Hearing Aids Have a Social Stigma
Like it or not, hearing aids have a negative association in our society. All too often, they are viewed as a sign of weakness. But hearing aids are a definite solution to a problem, similar to eyeglasses, and yet glasses do not share the same negative associations. Unfortunately, so long as the stigma remains, people will continue to put off getting hearing aids.
Hearing Aids Have a High Cost
Currently, Medicare and most private insurance plans don’t cover the cost of hearing aids. This is problematic because, on average, the price for a single hearing aid is around $2,000, but it’s not uncommon for people to pay up to $5,000 or $6,000. And that number quickly becomes doubled since most people need two aids.
Hearing Aids Are Sometimes Hard to Get
The path to getting a hearing aid can sometimes be difficult. Most general practitioners don’t administer regular hearing tests as part of an annual physical. Additionally, most hearing aid providers have exclusive arrangements with only a single hearing aid company, which can sometimes limit options for patients. Ultimately, this arrangement leaves a lot of hoops to jump through to get a necessary medical device.
Currently, several government and private organizations are trying to enact federal changes to make hearing devices easier to acquire. One possible solution that’s being discussed is cheaper, over-the-counter hearing assistance devices, which would be ideal for people with a low degree of hearing loss. The goal with measures such as this is to drive cost down for hearing assistive devices across the board, making them more affordable to everyone. And once more people begin openly using hearing aids, the social stigmas associated with them will start to disappear.
If you’re currently suffering from hearing loss, you shouldn’t let these barriers keep you from getting a hearing aid. By waiting, you could be further damaging your hearing and diminishing your brain’s ability to process sound. This damage could make it impossible for you to achieve normal hearing in the future, even with hearing assistive devices.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about hearing loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!