Pebble Beach, CA New Hearing Aids More Visually Appealing Than Traditional Hearing Aidsby Richard Kuehn on 09/25/12
Getting a loved one the help they need to remain active and safe as they grow older can be a challenge. Many are resistant to using a cane or walker because it "makes them look old." Getting them to admit that they need a hearing aid can be tough too. Only 20% of the 36 million Americans who could benefit from a hearing aid actually use one, according to the National Institute on Deafness. Manufacturers of the devices are now making version which they hope will be viewed as younger and more hip than the traditional devices. Some of the new "Personal Sound Amplification Products" or PSAPs (which, unlike traditional hearing aids aren't subject to approval by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA)) look like Bluetooth headsets while others look like an MP3 player. This could encourage more seniors to get the help they need with hearing. But if they do go this route, make sure they still get regular hearing exams. Some audiologists worry that with more people buying over the counter hearing aids, they may further damage their hearing by getting the wrong device or having it on the wrong setting.