Hear Better–and Live Better

I went to a monthly meeting of the Chicago North Shore chapter of the National Hearing Association today and learned helpful tips on preparing for and buying hearing aids–something I’ve been dealing with for several months.

Two years ago I became aware I wasn’t hearing as well as before and went to a medical doctor specializing in haring loss and his audiologist ( a person who must earn a doctorate in audiology) gave me my first test. She said my loss was mild to moderate and didn’t require aids, but they might add to my quality of life. The physician she worked with told me to check again two years.

Since I wasn’t convinced I should spend between $6,000 to $8,000 out of pocket for aids then, I bought a sound amplifier from Amazon on sale for $24 (from $125.) It worked fine where I needed it in theaters, at lectures, and anywhere else microphone were involved.

But I took the doctor’s advice and went back recently for another test .

My hearing was still mild to moderate and aids still weren’t imperative but I thought they might be considered to improve my life quality.

Again I heard the words “mild to moderate” with the same suggestions as I went to outside dealers for more research. Then someone mentioned Costco, which everyone in the industry knows sells hearing aids for less than half what others charge,  and I went there too.

Today the Hearing Association explained that Costco aids should be fine for anyone with mild to moderate loss, like me, as are those bought mail order from Amazon, Google, or other internetamplifiers, but should be checked by an audiologist to make sure they cause no harm.

Anyone with a more serious loss should see an audiologist for testing and suggestions for aids.

But some other important news came from Guest
Speaker Guest Speaker, U.S.Rep. from IL  9th District Jan Schakowsky, who noted the FDA is now testing hearing aid products that may be available over the counter in about three years.

She added that she is introducing a new bill to make hearing loss care and appliances part of medicare. Though we currently can deduct out of pocket hearing, dental,and  eye expenses she fears this congress is  working to elimate those deductions.

They don’t care about the cost,  because hearing loss, which afflicts about 85% of people over  80, is often caused by aging–which is a disease they seem to think they’ll never catch.

Rep. Schakowky also pointed out  everyone in Congress receives the same free or very inexpensive health care the as the military, and that includes free hearing aids,