Fact Sheets and Policy Briefs

Our ability to hear and engage with others and the environment around us is foundational to healthy aging.  The widespread prevalence of hearing loss, which affects two-thirds of all adults 70 and older, is not going away.  The Cochlear Center focuses on what can be done now across five core areas - population health evidence, public awareness, care models, healthcare policy, and hearing technology - to address hearing loss in older adults at scale. 


For more information about these or other topics in hearing and aging, hearing health policy, or hearing loss and public health, contact Molly Sheehan at msheeh19@jhmi.edu or 202-415-2225. 

Fact Sheets 

Hearing Loss and Dementia: How are They Related? 

An international group of scientists convened by the Lancet Commission to examine dementia concluded that hearing loss accounted for the greatest number of potentially preventable cases of dementia.  


Learn more about Hearing Loss and Dementia


Hearing Loss Prevalence in the U.S.: Increasing, Undiagnosed, Undertreated

Hearing loss is common -  it affects 1 in 8 of all Americans - and this number is increasing.  Hearing loss is strongly linked to an increased risk of developing dementia, and other health issues. 


Learn more about the Prevalence of Hearing Loss in the US

Policy Briefs

Medicare Coverage for Hearing Treatment: Inadequate and Ready for Improvement 

Hearing loss has a broad cost: it is associated with poor health and wellbeing outcomes including dementia, falls, social isolation, and higher health care utilization and costs.  Yet because the Medicare program has limited coverage options for the treatment of hearing loss, only one in four beneficiaries has coverage for hearing aids and hearing care services. 


Learn more about Medicare Coverage for Hearing Treatment


Effective Legislative Proposals for Medicare Hearing Care Coverage: Hearing Care Services Are Essential, Hearing Aids Are Optional

Medicare's limited coverage for treating hearing loss fail to provide meaningful support for a condition that is highly prevalent among Medicare beneficiaries and impacts critical health outcomes.  


Learn more about the Cochlear Center's Effective Legislative Proposals for Medicare Hearing Care Coverage


The Over-The-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017:  Increasing the Accessibility and Affordability of Hearing Aids in the U.S. 

The Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act was passed with bipartisan support in 2017 and requires the Food and Drug Administration to create a regulatory classification for over-the-counter hearing aids that will allow Americans to have direct access to safe and effective hearing technologies. 


Learn more about what over-the-counter regulation will mean to Increasing the Accessibility and Affordability of Hearing Aids in the U.S. Market