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Listen up! Get a reasonably priced hearing aid

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

Stephen Colbert has been deaf in his right ear since childhood; Whoopie Goldberg says years of listening to loud music damaged her hearing in both ears. They're just two of the millions of Americans with disabling hearing loss-from about 2% of adults ages 45-54 to 50% of folks age 75 and older. Unfortunately, only about 16% of people ages 20-69 and 30% of folks age 70 and older who need hearing aids use them.

There are long-term health repercussions from uncorrected hearing loss. Mild hearing loss doubles your risk for dementia -- and, when it's severe, you're five times more likely to develop cognition problems. Plus, mild hearing loss triples your risk for falls! That's because sound is used to orient you in your environment.

To help folks who need hearing aids have easier access to less expensive options, the Food and Drug Administration has approved the over-the-counter sale of air conduction hearing aids for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss. These devices are worn inside or on the ear, with an inside the ear component, and have a user-adjustable volume control.

To find the right device for you, go to the National Council on Aging, at www.ncoa.org, for their recommendations and www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing-aids. I also recommend that you see an expert for a hearing test and consultation -- these people are, or soon will be, available at the big box stores. Tip: Get a return guarantee. Then, give yourself a couple of weeks to get used to the devices and test drive 'em in various environments and noise levels.

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Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email questions@GreatAgeReboot.com.

(c)2022 Michael Roizen, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
 

 

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