“Hearing loss is a family issue, not just an individual one,” explains Catherine Palmer, P.h.D., director of audiology and hearing aids at the University of Pittsburgh, who was not involved in the U.K. research. “It’s long been understood that a person with hearing loss may start to withdraw from social situations, but there’s been less focus on the effects on their partners—the social isolation as well as the burden of being a loved ones ‘ears.’”
In addition, it can be easy for people to miss subtle signs of hearing loss. “One of the barriers to care is that individuals with gradual, age-related hearing loss don’t realize they have it,” says Catherine Palmer, Ph.D., director of audiology and hearing aids at the University of Pittsburgh.
Most insurance—including Medicare—will cover the cost of a comprehensive hearing exam as long as you have a referral from your healthcare provider.
Work with your audiologist to find the aid that feels the most comfortable, whether it’s behind your ear, on your ear, in your ear, or completely in your ear canal. And bear in mind that it may take several tries for the audiologist to fit the device in your ear properly.
Getting the right fit, both physically and acoustically, is “the most important predictor in performance,” says Catherine Palmer, Ph.D., director of Audiology and Hearing Aids at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
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