Hearing-Aid Outcomes Found to Be Very Good in Older Adults

High-quality digital devices provide significant benefit to older Americans

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FRIDAY, March 3, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Hearing aids provide significant benefit to older adults, according to a study published online March 2 in the American Journal of Audiology.

The study involved 154 adults, aged 55 to 79, who had mild-to-moderate hearing loss. All had the same high-end digital mini hearing aids fitted in both ears. Some received counseling and fittings from audiologists, while others received an over-the-counter preprogrammed hearing aid. In a third group, the hearing aids provided no audiological benefit.

Benefits were similar for both the audiologist-fitted devices and over-the-counter aids. But participants whose devices were fitted by an audiologist expressed more satisfaction, the researchers found.

Up to now, "the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has not been able to support widespread hearing screening for adults over age 50," lead author Larry Humes, Ph.D., a professor at Indiana University in Bloomington, said in a news release from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. "This study, along with others to follow, will help establish the evidence base needed to foster better hearing health care for many older Americans."

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