Navigation Links
Study finds not all hearing aids are created equal
Date:8/13/2008

Consumers with hearing loss might think they are saving significantly more by purchasing over- the-counter hearing aids, but they most likely will be disappointed or could be taking risks when purchasing such aids, according to MSU research.

Professor Jerry Punch of the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders and Susanna Love Callaway, a lifelong education alumna and international student from Denmark, published their study on over-the-counter hearing aids in a recent issue of the American Journal of Audiology.

Through her work as a student in Punch's two online courses, Callaway began to wonder about the high cost variability of hearing aids and asked Punch to advise her on a potential project. Specifically, do hearing aids have to be expensive to work from a purely technical standpoint? Punch and Callaway set out to find the answer by subjecting 11 over-the-counter hearing aids to the same test protocol as traditional hearing aids.

Most consumers do not have or have only partial insurance coverage for hearing aids, leading to out-of-pocket expenses ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Low-cost options are typically marketed on the Internet and in mail-order magazines as listening devices often for bird watchers or deer hunters.

"These low-cost amplifying devices can look tempting to individuals with hearing impairment because of the significant cost differences," Punch said. "But our research found that the low-cost aids generally don't meet the fitting requirements to help a hearing-impaired person and could potentially damage a person's hearing."

The research is important to consumers, Callaway said. "Aside from being of extremely poor quality, very low-cost hearing aids - those under $100 - have the potential to damage your hearing because they send very loud sounds into the ear. The study's mid-range hearing aids ($100-500) were of higher quality and were not considered a safety hazard."

The authors state in their article that aids costing $100 to $500 often control the amount of sound sent into the ear better, but without a precise and knowledge-based fitting of the device by an audiologist, consumers can expect to experience hit-or-miss success, Punch said. "Based on the research, the best advice for consumers is to talk to an audiologist. Because hearing aids have complex technical features, they need to be fitted and customized to the individual."

The study measured how well the electronic features of the devices could compensate for commonly occurring types of hearing loss, employing methods that audiologists use to fit conventional hearing aids - a process audiologists call prescriptive fitting. Specifically, the researchers found that only a few of the aids they studied met the basic fitting requirements, and, for the few that did, that was true only for a specific degree of hearing loss.

"Currently, more than 32 million people have a hearing impairment, yet only about 25 percent of those use hearing aids," Punch said. "Meanwhile, the aging population is growing - and hearing loss becomes more common as we become older."

Although the Food and Drug Administration officially regulates hearing aids, those regulations are not enforced for low-cost amplifying devices that are sold through mail order and on the Internet, Punch said. He thinks that people with hearing loss should have more information about these devices.


'/>"/>

Contact: Tom Oswald
oswald@msu.edu
517-432-0920
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Penn study finds pro-death proteins required to regulate healthy immune function
2. New study shows promise in reducing surgical risks associated with surgical bleeding
3. Study, meta-analysis examine factors associated with death from heatstroke
4. Study suggests loss of 2 types of neurons -- not just 1 -- triggers Parkinsons symptoms
5. Study says COPD testing is not measuring up
6. Preclinical study suggests organ-transplant drug may aid in lupus fight
7. Ability to cope with stress can increase good cholesterol in older white men, study finds
8. High alcohol consumption increases stroke risk, Tulane study says
9. Mailman School of Public Health study examines link between racial discrimination and substance use
10. Pitt study finds inequality in tobacco advertising
11. Stanford study highlights cost-effective method of lowering heart disease risks
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/23/2017)... , ... January 23, 2017 , ... ... is taught by healthcare management and evaluation leaders with decades of experience who ... pay-for-value in the United States healthcare system, there is a renewed demand for ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... ... ... Sharon Kleyne, America’s leading water researcher, advocate and feared enemy of dry ... new water infrastructure a number one priority. “As we usher in a new national ... become a top priority of our new political change agents.” Kleyne pointed out that ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 23, 2017 , ... ... the premiere organization in North America for the scientific development, healthcare training and ... Annual Scientific Session, and its 2017 AAT Member Certification Qualification Courses for Technicians, ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... ... January 23, 2017 , ... ... Living (IHCA/INCAL), will serve as a healthcare industry expert at the 2017 Sector ... discussion, moderated by Inside Indiana Business host Gerry Dick, will feature an employer ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... METTLER TOLEDO has announced the availability of ... PAT Tools . , Crystallization is a common step used during ... Chemists now spend more time developing better intermediate and final crystallization steps. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/23/2017)... The global  anxiety disorders and depression treatment market  is ... incidence of depression worldwide is anticipated to drive the market growth in the ... demand for antidepressants in the recent years. Continue ... ... ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... 23 janvier 2017  ResMed (NYSE : RMD), BMC (Pékin, ... ont annoncé aujourd,hui qu,ils se sont mis d,accord sur ... les parties. BMC et 3B seront autorisés à vendre ... à ResMed, et ResMed effectuera le paiement de la ... le litige de Floride entre les deux parties. Le ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... DIEGO , 23. Januar 2017  ResMed (NYSE: ... ) und 3B Medical ( Winter Haven, ... auf eine Vereinbarung über die Beilegung aller globalen Rechtsstreitigkeiten ... der Verkauf ihrer bestehenden Produkte im Tausch ... einmalige Zahlung an 3B leisten, um das in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: