Barriers to Hearing Aid Use

Why are there so many older people with hearing impairment who do not use hearing aids? More than two-thirds of the older, non-user respondents said "my hearing is not bad enough" or "I can get along without one." About one-half of the non-users cited the cost of hearing aids. And one-in-five offered the explanation that "it would make me feel old," or "I'm too embarrassed to wear one."

"It is very sad that millions of older people are letting denial or vanity get in the way of treatments that can significantly improve the quality of their lives," said Dr. Firman, who is hearing impaired himself. "Doctors and family members should insist that hearing impaired seniors seek appropriate treatment."

This study was supported by an unrestricted grant from the Hearing Industries Association. NCOA plans to make the survey data-set available in a few months to other researchers throughout the world. Text summarizing the study in greater detail is on NCOA's Web site at

The National Council on the Aging is a private, non-profit research, education, and advocacy organization dedicated to promoting the well-being, dignity, and self-determination of older people. Founded in 1950, NCOA has helped to create the Meals on Wheels, Foster Grandparents, and many other innovative programs for seniors. Members include professionals and service providers in the field of aging, government agencies, consumer groups, faith congregations, businesses, and labor groups.

For more information, contact Michael Reinemer, 202-479-6975 or Jim Hood, 202-479-6976, both of NCOA or visit their web site:

Article Three
Hearing Loss Linked to Dementia and Other Mental Health Problems

Could hearing loss be causing brain tissue damage, resulting in dementia and other mental health problems? According to a leading UK authority on hearing health, studies suggest that there could be a link.

United Kingdom – WEBWIRE – Friday, February 21, 2014

 A study by Johns Hopkins University and the National Institute of Aging has suggested that hearing loss can accelerate the loss of brain tissue.

Could hearing loss be causing brain tissue damage, resulting in dementia and other mental health problems? According to a leading UK authority on hearing health, studies suggest that there could be a link.

Millions of people in the UK, old and young, suffer from some degree of hearing loss, but few have an idea of the effect that this could have upon them in later life. In fact, more than 10 million people in the UK have some form of hearing loss, but only 2 million have a hearing aid and even fewer use it regularly.

Now, a study by Johns Hopkins University and the National Institute of Aging has suggested that hearing loss can accelerate the loss of brain tissue, which could in turn lead to a decrease in mental and physical health.

The information was gleaned from the ongoing Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, which uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to examine volunteers every year, in addition to providing physical and hearing tests. Assistant professor Frank Lin PhD, discovered that those who experienced hearing problems also went on to return noticeable reductions in brain tissue through the MRI.

It is believed that those volunteers lost more than a cubic centimeter of brain tissue every year compared with those that had normal hearing. In addition, volunteers experienced more brain shrinkage in the specific parts of the brain used to process sound and speech, namely the superior, middle and inferior temporal gyri.

For this reason there is an argument to suggest that a digital hearing aid, which helps people living with hearing loss to maintain their ability to hear could stem the flow of brain shrinkage.

David Braun H.IS. #1371-060

How good hearing can lead to a healthier and more productive life

Improvement Area
Improvement Reported by Hearing Aid User (%)
Improvement Reported by User's Family (%)
Relations at home
Feelings about self
Life overall
Relations with children, grandchildren
Mental health
Sense of safety
Social life
Relations at work
Sex life

Why Now - Hearing loss and Cognitive decline

There are many health issues related to untreated hearing loss.  Today, studies from John Hopkins University have found links between hearing loss, cognitive decline and dementia.  That means that it may be a greater health threat than imagined and taking measures as simple as hearing aids could have a huge influence on healthy brain function.  In a recent story in the Chicago Tribune Dr. Frank Lin, assistant professor at Johns Hopkins stated that “Hearing loss shouldn’t be considered an inconsequential part of aging.”  In one study involving nearly 2,000 men and women ages 75-84, Lin and his colleagues found that over six years, cognitive abilities including memory and concentration of those with hearing loss declined 30 to 40 percent faster than in people with normal hearing.  In another article on Dr. Lin stated that “Whether or not it can help dementia, we don’t know yet.  But in the meantime, there’s no reason not to take your hearing loss seriously and pursue some type of treatment.  Hearing Care is Health Care.™  That’s why it makes sense to take care of your hearing health the same way you care about the rest of your health: There’s a lot more riding on it than just your hearing.”

What if I’m a Baby boomer?

We are not our parents.  We see ourselves as 30 years old with 20 years’ experience and we are extremely active. 

Here is some interesting facts on baby boomers.

  • 80% of us will continue working past retirement age
  • We’re twice as likely to start a new business as “Millennials” (18-34 year olds)
  • We’re going back to school to get graduate and professional degrees.
  • We’re very active on social media
  • A third of us are single
  • A quarter of us are looking for romantic connections
  • Many of us are looking after our kids, parents or both
  • Many of us want to give back to society  

Hearing connects us to a particular place and time.  It connects us to the now.  Good hearing gives us more access to opportunities in life as well as precious moments in life.  It empowers us to be all that we can and want to be.  Hearing and keeping your hearing at its best is a way of redefining tomorrow. Hearing enhanced by hearing technology gives people the power to write their own future. Finally, hearing is relevant to staying healthy, traveling and eating out, staying effective at work, increased earnings, connecting with others and caring for loved ones.   

What degree is affecting my life?

Do you hear people but don’t understand what they are saying?  Do you struggle in noisy environments?  Do you have ringing in your ears? Do you hardly hear at all?  A person who hears but does not understand may have a mild loss in the lower frequencies but a moderate to severe loss in the higher frequencies.  However, a person who does not hear nor understand most likely has a loss in both the low and high frequencies.  If background noise is a problem you might need a hearing device with better noise management capabilities.  A comprehensive test of tones and speech will determine what hearing device is recommended to address your hearing loss and lifestyle needs.

What is your lifestyle? 

What you want out of life is crucial in determining the level of technology that you invest in.  Below are some social situations to consider:


  • Quiet Conversations
  • Watching TV
  • Talking with Children
  • Answering the Phone
  • Listening to Music
  • Traveling
  • Shopping
  • Going out to Eat
  • Participating in Activities (cards, bingo)
  • Attending Entertainment Events
  • Attending Meetings, Worship, or Other Social Gatherings with a Number of People 

If you are an active person and find yourself in social situations, you may need higher end technology to optimize the benefits.  On the other hand if you are more sedentary and are most often engaged in quiet conversation, watching TV, and having a telephone conversation, a basic hearing device may be all that you need.

Who should I buy from?

You should buy from a hearing health care provider that you feel comfortable with.  You want to have a professional that takes time to discuss your hearing concerns thoroughly and gives you the time that you deserve.  Hearing loss is very serious as it not only affects you, but also affects your family and those close to you.       

Have a list of questions ready so that all your concerns can be addressed.  And before you buy ask:

  • What’s included with the purchase of my hearing devices? 
  • How long is the warranty? 
  • Are they Bluetooth compatible? 
  • What other accessories are available?

Why Choose US?

We are truly independent hearing healthcare professionals. As an independent business owner, you the patient are my concern. When you come to S.E. Wisconsin Hearing Center you will be fitted with the best hearing aid for your hearing needs, and not a hearing aid brand that the manufacturer has limited me to.

You can choose from multiple brands including: Siemens, Oticon, Starkey, Phonak, ReSound, Unitron, Widex, and Sonic.  We only fit our patients with state of the art digital technology. Here is the best part: You can test drive all the major brands to see which one is best for you.