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.

Do You Know How to Find an Audiologist?

October is National Audiology Awareness Month, which seems a good time to ask: Do you know how to find an audiologist to test your hearing or help you choose a hearing aid? If you’re unsure — or shaking your head no — you’re not alone. In a short video I saw last weekend at a hearing symposium, a dozen people were stopped on the street at random and asked that question. Most of them had no idea: “Google it?” “Go …

Invisible Hearing Aids’ Misguided Message

The ads call them “invisible hearing aids,” describing them as “discreet,” “well-hidden” and “virtually undetectable.” Perhaps that sounds appealing, but it also sends an unintended and damaging message: Hearing aids are shameful and something to be hidden. You might as well wear a bag over your head. Get discounts on hearing aids and more with your AARP Member Advantage » The ads also reinforce the notion that wearing hearing aids trumpets the fact that you’re old. Which is silly, as …

Common Painkillers May Be Harming Your Hearing

Here’s another reason to limit the use of common painkillers: a higher risk of hearing loss. Many of us pop up to eight pills a day of aspirin, ibuprofen (such as Advil) or acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) in accordance with the daily maximums noted on the pill bottles. These are over-the-counter drugs, after all, presumed safe. The consequences can be far more significant. Aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen (such as Aleve) are NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), and they have a host of side …

Hearing Loss Solutions Need More Technology, Federal Support

With only a fraction of the estimated 30 million older Americans with age-related hearing loss using hearing devices, “the time is ripe for a technology solution that could be helped along by federal action,” said geriatrician Christine Cassel, M.D., last week in a report on hearing issues before a government advisory council. Cassel, a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), reported her committee’s findings on how technology could help those with mild to moderate age-related …

Frustrated by Silence at a Funeral

It clearly was a moving memorial service for a longtime friend who had died after a long illness, but I sat in silence, unable to hear the poignant stories and loving words from family and friends. The problem was something I’ve encountered all too often before: a house of worship without the technology to allow those with hearing loss to fully participate. The service was held in a beautiful 19th century church in Cambridge, Mass., in an alcove that seated about …

Noisy Restaurant? How to Hear Better

Are restaurant owners finally getting the message that dining out shouldn’t come with a giant helping of noise? This summer, articles appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the New York Times and Bloomberg.com extolling the efforts some upscale restaurants are  making to tone down the din. Many of these improvements came after customers complained and/or restaurant critics measured the eatery’s decibels on a sound meter and found them equivalent to dining next to a jackhammer or a subway train. Obviously, some …