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 …

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 …

Why Is This ‘Technological Godsend’ Still a Secret?

It’s a boon for people with hearing loss, widely used in northern Europe, and yet in this country it still remains relatively unknown and underutilized by millions who could benefit from it. I’m talking about induction looping, which has been available in the U.S. for years. For those unfamiliar with this ingenious device, the Wall Street Journal recently called it “a technological godsend” in an op-ed column by David Myers, a psychology professor at Hope College in Holland, Mich., and …