Preventative Hearing Care is Key
As we age, it is common for our hearing to decline. The National Institute on Aging reports that 1 in 3 people between 65 and 74 have hearing loss and nearly half of people aged 75 or older have difficulty hearing. That’s why it is important to maximize health care benefits to keep your hearing at its best.
Just because you can still hear doesn’t mean you should avoid going to the doctor for a hearing test at least once per year. Loss of hearing can affect your daily interactions, quality of life, and even your balance.
Signs of hearing loss
Oftentimes, loss of hearing doesn’t happen overnight and is typically a more gradual decline. If you are not getting a routine hearing test, you may not even realize that you could be in need of hearing aids. Some signs of hearing loss include:
- Frequently asking people to repeat themselves
- Needing to turn up the volume on your TV
- Not hearing your phone notifications or ringing
- Trouble hearing due to background noise
- Difficulty hearing a whisper
- Muffled hearing of speech or sounds around you
If you are experiencing mild to moderate signs of hearing deterioration, over-the-counter hearing aids may help you find relief. As of August 2022, the FDA approved OTC hearing aids, which allow you to purchase directly from a store instead of seeing a hearing specialist for a prescription. In an effort to expand access to hearing aids, OTC hearing aids may be priced significantly lower than prescription hearing aids.
If you are experiencing more severe signs of hearing deterioration, seeing your physician or hearing specialist can help you find a solution to improve the quality of your daily life. This could include getting fitted for hearing aids or taking preventative measures to avoid future hearing loss. Even if you are not noticing any loss of hearing, it is still recommended to get your ears tested at least once per year.
Hearing care when you have hearing aids
If you currently have hearing aids, seeing your physician regularly is essential. Much like your eyes after getting glasses, your level of hearing can change after getting hearing aids. Keeping up with regular hearing appointments can help you fine tune your hearing aids, upgrade devices and screen for future decline.
You can read more about hearing coverage with Medicare on easyMedicare.com. If you are already enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you can find a complete list of items covered on your Summary of Benefits provided when you enrolled in your plan.
Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)
Medicare Annual Enrollment Period runs each year from October 15 to December 7. What is the Annual Enrollment Period vs. Open Enrollment Period?
Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)
Your Initial Enrollment Period generally surrounds your 65th birthday but may occur if you otherwise become eligible for Medicare for the first time.
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