Good New York Times article on need for lower cost hearing aids. Below is my published comment. Click on the link to add yours. Hearing aid companies need to hear our voices.
As a person with severe adult-onset hearing loss (and the author of two books about living with hearing loss, as well as being AARP’s hearing loss blogger), I write and think about these issues all the time. The comments here are spot on — hearing aids are too expensive, the process of testing and fitting is too complicated, finding an audiologist is difficult, they often don’t work perfectly, especially for severe loss. They also often need to be supplemented by other assistive-listening devices, which may cost another $1000. But I’m surprised that no one (or no one I saw) mentioned PSAP’s — personal sound amplification products. Top cost $500. Excellent for age related mild to moderate hearing loss. The sophisticated ones do everything a hearing aid does at a fraction of the cost. Audiologists won’t sell you one because they can’t make enough of a profit on them. But you can read about them in the New York Times (google Soundhawk, or Etymotic Bean) and how to buy them. You can also read about them on the website of the Hearing Loss Association of America. hearingloss.org. They may be a stepping stone to a hearing aid. Or they may be all you’ll ever need. Katherine Bouton — “Shouting Won’t Help” and “Living Better With Hearing Loss: A Guide to Health, Happiness, Love, Sex, Work, Friends … and Hearing Aids.”
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