NCOA Praises Commitment to Improving Nation's Hearing Health
Editor: The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is applauding the creation
of a new organization called the Hearing Health Network (HHN). A
collaboration between family doctors and hearing health professionals, HHN
will encourage people to have hearing tests and seek treatment, if
necessary. Here's the information.
Recognizes Newly Formed Network of Doctors as Important First Step
The National Council on the Aging (NCOA) is committed to improving the
nation's hearing health and applauds the creation of The Hearing Health
The NCOA recognizes the value of HHN, a new partnership established
earlier this week between family doctors and hearing care professionals to
improve and expand access to hearing health care in the United States. HHN
aims to dramatically change an alarming statistic: of the 28 million
Americans who suffer from some degree of hearing loss, only 6 million are
According to James Firman, Ed.D, president of the NCOA, The Hearing
Health Network is "a very important initiative, and the fact that
people can now go to their family doctor's office and ask for testing is a
very valuable step."
Hearing-impaired patients become five to eight times more likely to
seek help when advised to do so by their family doctor, reports MarkeTrak
-- the most widely recognized study on the hearing aid industry. In
addition, a new survey by PKS Research indicates that 49.9% of people have
not had their hearing tested in the last decade, which is no surprise. The
survey also found that 94% of respondents would be "extremely
likely," "very likely," or "somewhat likely" to
seek treatment if their family doctor diagnosed a hearing problem.
Dr. Firman states that The Hearing Health Network has the potential to
greatly improve the nation's hearing health by including hearing testing
in a routine physical. In this way, family doctors can identify more
patients with hearing loss and refer them to a hearing care specialist for
"Untreated hearing loss can lead to a whole host of problems,
including depression, sadness, isolation, lack of involvement in
activities and often a lot of friction inside the family," according
to Dr. Firman.
The NCOA understands the challenges and opportunities to hearing loss
detection thanks to its landmark study entitled, "The Consequences of
Untreated Hearing Loss in Older Persons." That study, completed five
years ago, addressed the consequences of untreated hearing loss in older
According to the study, seniors whose hearing loss is treated generally
enjoy better relationships with their families; better feelings about
themselves; improved mental health; and greater independence and security.
The NCOA study concludes, "Because of the potential negative
consequences of untreated hearing loss on a person's quality of life and
family relationships, hearing loss should be a routine topic of discussion
for older persons and their doctors."
Please visit http://www.hhnusa.com for additional information about The
Hearing Health Network(TM).
Founded in 1950, The National Council on the Aging is a national
network of organizations and individuals dedicated to improving the health
and independence of older persons; increasing their continuing
contributions to communities, society, and future generations; and to
building caring communities. For more information on NCOA or the hearing
study, visit http://www.ncoa.org.