Katherine Bouton is the author of “Living Better With Hearing Loss: A Guide to Health, Happiness, Love, Sex, Work, Friends… and Hearing Aids.”
She is also the author of the memoir “Shouting Won’t Help: Why I — and 50 Million Other Americans — Can’t Hear You.”
She is former editor at The New York Times, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Hearing Loss Association of America.

Say Again, Santa? Some Holiday Lipreading Advice

Santa Claus may be the hardest person on earth to lipread — or, more properly, speech read. He is, in fact, a speech reader’s nightmare, thanks to the big, fuzzy beard and mustache that obscure his lips, the tight, padded suit that restricts his movement, and his crinkly, barely visible eyes — all things that keep us from effectively reading his lips, face and body to figure out what he’s saying. That’s because speech reading involves all these visual clues gleaned …

How to Make the Holidays More Hearing-Friendly

I love the five weeks that begin with Thanksgiving and end with New Year’s, but a part of me also thinks, “Bah, humbug.” That’s the part that knows I’ll struggle to follow conversations at family dinners, holiday parties, concerts and pageants. It’s also the part of me that will want to leave early, or maybe even just stay home. If you feel the same way, here are a few tips and strategies for making the holidays more hearing-friendly. Some of them …

The Skype Solution for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

The other day I was sitting in my neighborhood Starbucks surrounded by the chatter of conversation and people hunched over their laptops or newspapers. At one table, however, something remarkable was going on. A woman was sitting in an armchair, her laptop perched on a table in front of her. She was having an exuberant conversation — in sign language. Not a sound came from her except for an occasional guffaw, but her conversation was so animated you almost felt you …

Study: Hearing Aids May Help Protect Brain Health

For several years, studies have linked hearing loss and dementia, but no major study has addressed the big question: Could using hearing aids reduce the risk of cognitive decline? Now an important new French study finds that older adults who use hearing aids experience the same rate of cognitive decline as their peers with normal hearing. In other words, while hearing loss is associated with accelerated cognitive decline, hearing aids can slow that from happening, researchers say. The study, published …

Report: Buying Hearing Aids Should Be Easier, Cheaper

A new federal advisory report wants to make buying a hearing aid as easy and inexpensive as buying prescription eyeglasses, calling for changes to “dramatically increase competition and increase new choices for millions of Americans” experiencing hearing loss. Nearly 30 million Americans have age-related hearing loss, the report notes, but only “a small fraction” are getting help for the condition “and that rate is even smaller among low income and racial and ethnic minorities.” The report from the President’s Commission …

Test Your Hearing at Home: Free, Easy and Reliable

What if you could accurately test your hearing at home at no cost and in complete confidentiality? All it takes is a telephone. Beginning this month, AARP is offering its members free access to the National Hearing Test, a telephone test developed by researchers at Communications Disorders Technology and Indiana University, based on a Dutch model. The research for the nonprofit test was funded by the National Institutes of Health. Since 2014, when it was introduced, about 40,000 Americans have …