(and don’t let a 1977 regulation tell you otherwise)
Thank you for this article. I will share with people who will benefit. Why Apple isn’t promoting this given the imminent total world domination of older adults is beyond insane. Ageism must be kryptonite for capitalism.
Right here with you. Just changed everything and it’s only been one day. I have a lot to learn, so thanks for the tips.
Incredible! Thank you so much for this! It is information that could be life altering for so many!
I am blessed with good hearing (so far) but my sister has difficulties, and spends lots of $ for hearing aids. I will be passing this info on to her. Thanks so much!
Very helpful article. I’ve read that the Biden Administration is in the midst of revamping Federal hearing aid prescription rules…. but confess that it still seems a mystery to me how much the rules changes will reduce costs or increase competition.
Excellent article on AirPods Pro and no doubt news to lots of people without hearing loss. Those of us who do have hearing loss have known about these since Apple released them -- and also about Apple's reluctance to promote the idea that these work as hearing aids. Apple apparently doesn't want to be associated with hearing loss, still a stigmatized condition. Apple products, however, especially the iPhone, include many excellent apps for people with hearing and communication problems (as do Android smartphones).
Bose makes a good direct-to-consumer hearing aid, the Bose SoundControl, which works for people with more severe loss than Deborah's. They're $849 per pair and are legitimately called "hearing aids," having been approved in a special category by the FDA.
Congress passed the Over the Counter Hearing Aid Act in 2017, signed by President Trump. The FDA has yet to release its regulations, meaning that affordable hearing aids remain out of reach for many. Deborah is lucky to have insurance that covers even part of her hearing aids. Medicare does not cover hearing aids or diagnostic tests relating to hearing aids. Costco hearing aids are relatively expensive, but they are also generally very high quality. If you're told you need $6000 hearing aids, check out Costco before you commit. Ask your audiologist if she'd service them (for a fee). Do always check out your hearing loss with an audiologist before you do anything else. And don't buy any hearing device that seems too cheap to be true. Some of them can actually harm your hearing.
If readers want to know more about options for people with hearing loss, as well as about the culture and politics that stand in the way of treatment, my blog Smart Hearing (katherinebouton.com) and my books are a good place to start. I also recommend checking out the Hearing Loss Association of America. In NYC we hold monthly meetings that provide information and support, and suggestions for advocacy. Our website is hearinglossnyc.org. Meeting are free, captioned, and open to all. Thanks Deborah for using your platform to share such important information.
You might like to read David Lodge's novel Deaf Sentence, which he wrote after he began to go deaf. Lots of bad puns - the protagonist goes to lip-reading class which he refers to as 'Deaf Row', and so on. But there are lots of well-observed details about life as a person with mild/moderate but worsening deafness.
As always, smart and revelatory. Brava.
Very interesting....thanks for sharing this info. And I just referred a friend to your book, which was also very interesting!
Excellent PSA. Unfortunately my hearing loss is more severe but appreciate you pointing out unfairness of insurance companies not covering the cost of hearing aids. Stress from being hearing impaired that affects your daily interactions can take a toll on your overall physical and mental health. Which in turn leads to higher medical bills! Especially during a pandemic 😷
Excellent. Plus I love your new book. Your voice is so clear (so to speak, given this I-can-hear-you-now post) and empowering. I’m so tempted to say: My name is Jessica Lipnack and I’d like to take you to lunch.
Yet again you are a source of encouraging health advice!
Amazing, thanks for sharing, Deb!
Incredible article!!! I'm sorry to sound like such a dummie, but is an I-Phone mandatory to use them? I have an Android. If "yes", know of anything comparable for Android? Thank you fir your amazingly informative and REAL article!
If a bomb blew up in your face in Afghanistan, I will assume your hearing loss was service related. The two audiologists that you saw were not honest enough to tell you that the VA will provide you with state of the art amplification for no charge. Your AirPods are an excellent personal assistant. You can hand your phone off to use it as a mic in a particularly difficult situation. You are entitled to and should get amplification from the VA. Recently, I was in an Apple store because my AirPods were not working in the left ear. I was waiting patiently for my person, when a woman came in complaining that her mother was hoping to be able to use AirPods(Not Pro) for hearing help viewing her shows, but she could not hear them. The tech was lost. I said, "Hi, I am an audiologist. Can I suggest a few things? Go to accessability, scroll down to audio, see the lock on loudness is on. They put that in there for parents who wanted to prevent their kids from damaging their hearing. Let's remove the lock so she can turn it up. Now, see the balance? Maybe one ear is better than the other. Let her play with that to see if she likes one way better than the other. If she needs a lot of volume, people in the room may be driven crazy by the bleeding out of the sound. That means she needs a custom plug, which you can get from any audiologist or hearing aid dealer. I did mention to her that if someone could look in her mother's ear to make sure all was healthy, that would make things even better. I also saw a young guy come in with non functional pods. The tech had been inserviced to check for wax obstruction of the device. He had no knowledge on how to teach the guy to clean them, nor any little wax picks or brushes to safely accomplish this without damaging the device. He neither demonstrated or taught this self care task. As a retired audiologist, I left thinking that this was going to explode on Apple for numbers of users and they really did not have the patient education skills or customer support to handle the flood that is coming. People, especially older people, with hearing loss have lots of issues and they take TIME. There is really no substitute at any level for a person who values you, who will listen to you and work to make things better for you.