According to a recent ASHA article, one third of adults with hearing loss do not seek treatment. That’s over 10 million people in the United States alone. For something that has profound quality of life consequences, one has to wonder why these individuals are not asking for help.
There are a few reasons people might not want to get their hearing tested.
Cost of the test, cost of the aid, and cost of maintenance are all big questions. What insurance will or will not cover is another.
Many don’t like the look of hearing aids. Others might feel an aid will open the door to discrimination. If they’re not interested – or afraid of how the hearing device will look – why get tested in the first place?
Older patients might have trouble getting around. Maybe they’re in a nursing home or rural area where access to hearing facilities is limited.
Some with hearing conditions might not know what a hearing test will involve, or who they should talk to. If they don’t know, it’s that much easier to stay away.
These are all very important, but very addressable, issues. Next blog we’ll show what healthcare officials or concerned family and friends can do to educate not only those who need to get tested, but also those around them.
A hearing device is a very necessary device for a lot of people. They might just not know it yet.
Don’t forget to check out Part 2 (how to spread the word) and Part 3 (what you can expect from the hearing test itself).