Bottom Line: This study examined how common hearing aids were and the factors associated with their use among a group of nearly 1,900 adults (average age 60) of Hispanic/Latino backgrounds with hearing loss. The results reveal low use of hearing aids, with only 87 adults (4.6 percent) reporting use. Factors associated with adults being more likely to report using hearing aids were access to health insurance, poorer measured hearing, higher perceived need for hearing aids, and where they live. The majority of data for this study were collected prior to passage of the Affordable Care Act and subsequent Medicaid expansion, so hearing aid use may now be greater among adults enrolled in Medicaid. The data also can't explain the cause of the low use of hearing aids. The results support increasing access to hearing care for older adults from Hispanic/Latino backgrounds with hearing loss.
Authors: Michelle L. Arnold, Au.D., Ph.D., University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, Sarasota, and coauthors.
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