People with hearing loss who choose to wear hearing aids do experience a better quality of life than those who do not wear hearing aids according to an article published in the current issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology (JAAA).

“A Systematic Review of Health-Related Quality of Life and Hearing Aids: Final Report of the American Academy of Audiology Task Force on the Health-Related Quality of Life Benefits of Amplification in Adults” concludes that hearing aids improve adults’ Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) by reducing psychological, social, and emotional effects of sensorineural hearing loss.

“Hearing aids can be a real challenge, especially for many elderly individuals. Their small size presents major problems for persons with arthritic fingers or with some loss of fine motor control,” JAAA Editor-in-Chief James Jerger, PhD, reports.

“It is not always easy to change the battery, to manipulate the controls, and to take the aid in and out of the ear. Elderly persons frequently complain that amplified sound is unnatural and often annoyingly loud, and they complain uniformly that talkers are difficult to understand in the presence of background competition,” Jerger adds. “They will often insist that, much of the time, they get along better without the aids than with them.

“It is not unreasonable to ask, therefore, whether hearing aids are actually a net advantage, especially for the geriatric population. Are we really helping them, or are we just compounding their problems in everyday living?”

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