Hearing Aid Prices are Coming Down: Is Now the Time to Consider Getting One?

When my parents got into their 80s, sometimes I thought they were arguing because they were shouting. Then I realized they were just having trouble hearing each other. Unfortunately, this went on for some time because they did not have hearing aids. They said hearing aids were too expensive. Expense may soon become less of an issue for would-be purchasers. Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first hearing aid for sale over-the-counter (OTC). Allowing OTC sales of …

Simple Hearing Device Makes Big Difference for Dad

When Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, I knew he would need all of his senses to help interpret the world around him and balance his changing cognitive abilities. But he has hearing impairment and limited vision (glaucoma plus visual-processing problems associated with Alzheimer’s). Even though there is only so much I can do about the visual issues, I assumed hearing aids would solve his auditory problems. I was wrong. The good news is that we eventually discovered a surprisingly simple …

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 …

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 …