November 26, 2007

The Sonus professional hearing-care network has announced it is working to establish relationships with the medical community to raise awareness among physicians about the importance of testing for hearing loss, which often goes undiagnosed and untreated.

“Eighty percent of physicians do not test for hearing loss,” says Bob Tysoe, physician marketing manager of Sonus. “If a patient comes to a doctor suffering from depression, anxiety and other psychosocial issues, hearing loss could be causing these conditions. It’s imperative that physicians work
with patients to identify if hearing loss is a factor.”

Sonus reports that an estimated 28 million Americans have hearing loss, yet only 5.5 million have ever sought treatment or obtained hearing aids. Furthermore, Sonus states, because 22% of first time hearing aid buyers are referred through a medical channel, Sonus has developed a physician education program to encourage audiologists to foster relationships with the medical community to increase the number of patients who are examined for hearing loss.

“Patients trust their primary care physicians and have a greater tendency to act upon their advice,” Tysoe adds. “And because physicians only refer their patients to people they know and trust, Sonus has developed a program where local hearing professionals can tap into physicians.”

According to Sonus most hearing impaired patients either don’t seek care because of denial or
are not aware of who may be a trustworthy hearing health provider. Through clinic visits, Sonus marketing staff are able to conduct “lunch and learn” sessions that educate physicians and RNs about:

* The complete range of personal hearing solutions and services available for all hearing loss patients
* Sonus clinics staffed by Certified Audiologist and Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialists
* Patient education materials regarding diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss and tinnitus
* Acute/same day scheduling for physician referrals

“As baby boomers reach retirement age starting in 2010, the number of Americans with hearing loss is expected to rapidly climb and nearly double by the year 2030,” Tysoe says. “Developing trusting relationships with physicians will be key to ensuring that patients who are suffering from hearing loss know there is a reliable solution for them.”

Source: Sonus