All of us at the Center for Hearing and Communication know that hearing health care can improve the quality of life for people of all ages. So we were surprised at a statement released last week by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. It concluded that there was insufficient evidence to recommend routine hearing testing for people 50 and over.
The task force’s refusal to recommend hearing screenings for patients 50+ is jarringly opposite the common sense of responsible hearing health professionals. It also fails to take into account the hugely significant findings made recently by Dr. Frank Lin of Johns Hopkins Medical Center on the correlation between hearing loss and onset of dementia. This research clearly indicates that the decision to ignore hearing loss in the elderly is a harmful one.
At CHC we have seen many lives transformed by the adoption of hearing technology; we must work to connect as many people as possible to hearing solutions that can keep them happier, healthier, sharper, and more independent for longer. Every adult and senior whose hearing loss could have been treated–but isn’t–represents a drop in quality of life, connectivity, and public health.
Ellen Pfeffer Lafargue, AuD, CCC-A
Director, Shelley and Steven Einhorn Audiology Center
Center for Hearing and Communication