Routine Hearing Loss and Medicare

Hearing loss is a common issue for older adults. Here’s what you should know.

As you age, hearing loss becomes more of an issue. Approximately one-third of people between 65-74 years of age and half of those over the age of 75 report some degree of loss. So chances are good that you could be affected.

What are the causes?

Hearing loss can depend on a number of issues. Genetics, disease, trauma, and repeated exposure to loud noise are all contributing factors. There are two types: Sensorineural and Conductive. Sensorineural is usually permanent. Conductive may be caused by a punctured eardrum, fluid, or excessive wax, and can generally be remedied by medical treatment.

What are the signs?

  • Having a problem hearing on the telephone or when there is background noise.
  • Hard to follow a conversation when two or more people talk at once.
  • ­­People seem to mumble or not speak clearly.
  • Misunderstanding what others are saying and responding inappropriately.
  • Asking people to repeat themselves.
  • People complain that you turn the TV volume up too high.
  • Frequently hear a ringing, roaring, clicking, buzzing, or hissing sound.
  • Some sounds are too loud.
  • Straining to understand a conversation.
  • Difficulty understanding women or children with higher pitch voices.

If you experience three or more of these signs, you may want to contact your physician and schedule an exam.

What does Medicare cover?

Original Medicare does not cover routine hearing exams or hearing aids. However, Medicare Part B does cover diagnostic exams if your doctor thinks you might need medical treatment. Some Medicare Advantage plans do cover routine hearing exams and some cover hearing aids.

Our agents are familiar with the plans in Oregon & SW Washington that cover these routine services and benefits, so call SeniorChoices NW to schedule an appointment to see which plan will best fit your needs.

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