I know that all of those reasons, with the possible exception of cost for a few folks, can be readily addressed.

Why is it that we procrastinate on issues that would be easier and more effectively addressed if we dealt with them in a timely fashion?? With hearing loss, unfortunately, this has generally been the case for decades. Consistently, the hearing healthcare analysis MarkeTrak (MT) studies have found that only around 20 percent of those who could benefit from amplification have been taking advantage of it!  

In addition, the average time gap from initially identifying treatable hearing loss to actually being fitted with amplification has stubbornly remained the same, about six to seven years. Certainly, there are reasons (good or bad) for not addressing hearing loss—cost, poor performance, discomfort or aesthetics, denial, lack of information. But being on the front lines, I know what properly fitted hearing aids can do for an individual’s (and their family’s) quality of life. I’m blessed to see it every day.  

I know that all of those reasons, with the possible exception of cost for a few folks, can be readily addressed. If there’s one thing I would tell everyone wondering about hearing loss and associated communication issues, either for yourself or a loved one, it’s to not wait until treatment is “needed.”  Hearing loss and associated communication and cognitive issues don’t get better without treatmentthey will get worse without it! 

The latest MarkeTrak (MT9; 2015) does reveal some positive things. According to MT9, although the percentage of people taking advantage of hearing aids to improve their communication abilities and quality of life is still low (no more than 30 percent), the average age for first-time users has dropped from almost 69 years old to a little over 63 years old.  

In addition, the vast majority (81 percent) of hearing aid users are satisfied with their devices, with that number jumping to over 90 percent for users of the latest hearing aid technologies.

MT9 confirms what I see on a daily basis, that hearing aids are positively impacting users’ relationships, work performance, and general ability to communicate and participate in group activities, while improving their overall quality of life.

So don’t procrastinate. There is literally nothing to lose and a healthier, more connected life to gain! 

Hearing Assessment

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Jonathan Lipschutz Audiologist, M.S., F-AAA, Owner

Jonathan is the owner of Berkeley Hearing Center. He received his bachelor of science in hearing and speech science and a master of science in audiology from Purdue University. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and the California Academy of Audiology. Jonathan has over 20 years of audiology and hearing aid experience in both the non-profit and corporate sectors.

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