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Your Healthy Family: The barriers beyond cost of hearing aids

Posted at 10:31 AM, Aug 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-24 12:31:49-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — In this story, we are following up on our last story with local audiologist Dr. Michael Iliff about the FDA's recent move to make some hearing aids available without a prescription.

Your Healthy Family: Over the counter hearing aids, a good or bad move?

Dr. Iliff says, “About 20% of people who have hearing loss actually do something about it part of that is because of cost.”

While over the counter hearing aids will ease the financial barrier, many people will still be resistant to even the thought of hearing aids.

“There was a study done. I forget how many years ago the question was - if hearing aids were free and invisible, would you wear them? A surprising number of people said no.”

Whether it's embarrassment or simply not wanting to admit there's a problem, Dr. Iliff explains “It’s not just about cost, it's also about someone saying, 'I'm not ready to accept this.' It takes the average person about 7 years from the point that they recognize they have hearing loss until they do something about it. I don't know why there is more of a stigma with hearing than almost anything else. With vision people will put glasses on no problem.”

Dr. Iliff hopes now that lower cost hearing aids will be easier to get more people will seek help when it comes to hearing loss. But whether it’s an over the counter hearing aid, or something you get through a hearing doctor - you should always start with a detailed hearing diagnostic so you know what you’re up against. “They can then get options to improve their hearing even a little bit see the will the benefits and improved quality of life.”

If you're ready to explore your options when it comes to hearing aids - what's now available for people with mild to moderate hearing loss may surprise you.

Dr. Iliff says, “There is starting to be less of a stigma (in society) with the introduction of Airpods or Bluetooth devices that seems to have made it less of a thing. Anyone who’s hesitating there's nothing wrong with getting tested to see where you're at and know what your options are. Whether you do anything about it or not, people can make their own decisions and that's perfectly fine.”

In our next story, Dr. Iliff will talk about the over the counter hearing aids already available through his office and what you should look for before you purchase any hearing aids.

Hearing Consultants of Colorado Springs is a proud sponsor of Your Healthy Family