According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (April 16, 2003), "Hearing loss is the third most prevalent chronic condition in older Americans. In addition, the impact of hearing loss on society will increase not only because the population is aging, but also because the prevalence of age-adjusted hearing loss has increased significantly since the 1960's. Given the prevalence and disease burden of undetected hearing impairment in older persons and the availability of effective treatments, it is important for primary care physicians to screen, recognize, treat, and appropriately refer patients with hearing impairment."
According to our national hearing health survey 31.5 million Americans have a hearing loss; nearly 2 out of 3 people with hearing loss are below retirement age. Yet less than 13% report they received a screening for hearing loss during their last physical exam. Eighty percent of people with hearing loss go undiagnosed and untreated. To minimize the negative health impact on these individuals and their families we are asking for your help in identifying these hard of hearing patients during their physical exams and in making appropriate referral when their hearing loss is deemed to be disruptive to their life.
The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) is a non-profit 501c(3) educational organization. Our mission is to educate the medical community and the general public on hearing loss, its treatment and prevention. The educational material that BHI has compiled for the medical community provides compelling evidence that hearing loss should not be ignored and that proper treatment of hearing loss can significantly improve the quality of life of not only the hearing-impaired but also their immediate families.
Free Physician Kit
We have compiled a comprehensive educational program for physicians, nurses and physician assistants, which includes a practical tool for hearing loss screening.
NCOA study on hearing loss and quality of life. This detailed publication provides a literature review of the impact of hearing loss and quality of life followed by an executive summary of the large scale research conducted by the National Council on the Aging in 1999. The NCOA study compared aided and unaided subjects 55+ on a number of variables from the perspective of the subject as well as their spouse: personality factors, cognitive functioning, emotional and mental health, social functioning and physical health. Kochkin, S. & Rogin, C. Quantifying the Obvious: The Impact of Hearing Aids on Quality of Life, The Hearing Review, Vol 7(1) January 2000, pp. 8-34.
Your Guide to Better Hearing. This 28 page booklet compiled by academic advisors to the Better Hearing Institute while written for the general public is great reading for physicians, nurses and physician assistants. It covers all the key topics including: prevalence of hearing loss, summary of QOL factors impacted by hearing loss, anatomy of the ear, tinnitus, diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss, handling people in denial, hearing aids and other assistive technology, medical advances, children and hearing loss, hearing loss prevention, financial assistance.
Screening and Management of Adult Hearing Loss in Primary Care - Scientific Review - The Journal of the American Medical Association - Vol. 289, No. 15, April 16, 2003.
Screening and Management of Adult Hearing Loss in Primary Care - Clinical Applications - The Journal of the American Medical Association - Vol. 289, No. 15, April 16, 2003.
Quick Check Hearing Pad
Hearing loss check based on the Revised American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) five-minute hearing check. It is a means of quickly assessing if a patient possibly has a hearing loss requiring referral for an objective hearing test and possible hearing solution WITHOUT adding additional time taken in the physical exam. To see a review copy of this tool
Ordering the Free Physician Kit
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You can expect your materials within 4 to 6 weeks.