Opportunities for Action
Hearing is a vital human sense important to communications, health, function, and quality of life. Currently, hearing health care is simultaneously on the brink of and in the midst of innovation and change. Changes in technologies, changes in the delivery of hearing health care services, and changes in opportunities for consumer empowerment and public awareness are occurring at various rates and with various levels of research rigor and evidence. Thus, with the benefit of key institutional, technological, and regulatory changes to improve access and affordability, hearing health care is poised to undergo advances that will help individuals with hearing loss and their families find and fully utilize the appropriate, affordable, and high-quality services, technologies, and support they need. The committee’s findings and recommendations for change are highlighted in Box 7-1 and discussed throughout this report. The recommended actions will require collaborative, determined, and sustained efforts to ensure that stakeholders from across the public and private sectors and across professions come together to provide accessible and affordable hearing health care. Fully developing the array of options for adults of all ages and with all levels of hearing loss (see Table 7-1) requires that hearing loss be recognized as a public health concern that demands multidisciplinary and collaborative efforts by all stakeholders working together with the common goal to improve hearing and communication abilities for individuals and across the population.
Hearing Loss–Related Services and Technologies
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