The majority of older adults with mild hearing loss are unaware of it, a startling fact that can have an impact on a person’s well-being. The social and health consequences related to hearing loss are many, including fatigue, anxiety, social isolation, depression and dementia.
Historically, non-specialists have assessed hearing ability subjectively, for example, by using the whisper or finger rub test. Furthermore, we know audiometry screening equipment for hearing loss, as well as providing timely and appropriate referrals, are important yet not always routinely practiced in primary care. Given the large number of older adults with hearing issues and the lack of assessment through primary care, we know a new model for hearing care delivery is needed to improve health outcomes for Canadians.
Portable audiometer technologies have emerged on the market over the past several years. They put technology in the hands of non-specialists and provide an easy-to-use, objective assessment of hearing that helps make non-specialists allies to hearing healthcare professionals.
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