Posted: Sunday, June 12, 2016
WASHINGTON—Treating hearing loss shouldn’t be such a pricey hassle. That’s the message from a prestigious government advisory group that’s calling on Medicare and other agencies to find ways to make better hearing more affordable and accessible for millions of older Americans.
One proposal: Allow over-the-counter sales of simple devices for mild hearing problems as an alternative to full hearing aids—much like consumers with vision problems today choose between drugstore reading glasses or prescription bifocals.
The report says action is important because hearing loss isn’t just a struggle for individuals but a growing public health problem, putting untreated seniors at extra risk of social isolation, depression, even dementia.