Washington, DC — For Better Hearing and Speech Month, the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) made a strong showing at the American Geriatric Society annual meeting April 30 – May 4 in Washington, DC, advancing its goal to promote the importance of hearing screenings as part of a physician’s best practice protocol.

As if to prove the institute’s position that hearing loss is a neglected aspect of health care — even among the geriatric population — not a single seminar at the AGS meeting dealt with the topic.

So to increase awareness of the importance of hearing loss screenings, 125 physicians, nurses, and medical educators in attendance were given threshold hearing screenings using BHI’s new teaching audiogram form. The audiologists performing the screenings were Deborah Berndtson (Alexandria, Va), Gail Linn (Rockville, Md), Leslie Lesner (Alexandria, Va), and Lauren Michler (Arlington, Va). Representing BHI was Executive Director Sergei Kochkin, PhD.

In addition to some 300 sets of earplugs, more than 200 physician education packets were given out consisted of the BHI booklet Your Guide to Better Hearing, two reprints of JAMA articles on the physician’s role in hearing loss screening, and a pad of our Quick Hearing Checks for use in their practice. The earplugs were used as a teaching tool by asking the physicians to attend a lecture or run their practice with them in place. The consequent 30-decibel sound reduction clinically would amount to a "mild" hearing loss.