Personal Sound Amplifiers for Adults with Hearing Loss

Am J Med. 2016 Mar;129(3):245-50. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2015.09.014. Epub 2015 Oct 21.


Age-related hearing loss is highly prevalent and often untreated. Use of hearing aids has been associated with improvements in communication and quality of life, but such treatment is unaffordable or inaccessible for many adults. The purpose of this review is to provide a practical guide for physicians who work with older adults who are experiencing hearing and communication difficulties. Specifically, we review direct-to-consumer amplification products that can be used to address hearing loss in adults. Helping adults with hearing loss navigate hearing loss treatment options ranging from being professionally fitted with hearing aids to using direct-to-consumer amplification options is important for primary care clinicians to understand given our increasing understanding of the impact of hearing loss on cognitive, social, and physical functioning.

Keywords: Age-related hearing loss; Amplification; Audiology; Hearing aids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Amplifiers, Electronic* / economics
  • Equipment Design
  • Hearing Loss / physiopathology*
  • Hearing Loss / therapy*
  • Humans