Fact Sheets & 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 at 202-415-2225



Hearing Loss Prevalence
Fact Sheet

Hearing Loss Prevalence in the US: 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.

Fact Sheet - Hearing Loss Prevalence (Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health)v1.pdf
Hearing Loss and Dementia
Fact Sheet

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.  

Fact Sheet - Hearing Loss and Dementia (Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health) v1_0.pdf
The Over-The-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017
Policy Brief

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. 

Policy Brief - Over The Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 (Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health)v1.pdf
Effective Legislative Proposals
Policy Brief

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.

Policy Brief - Hearing Loss Medicare Proposals (Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health)v1.pdf
Medicare Coverage for Hearing Treatment
Policy Brief

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.

Policy Brief - Hearing Loss and Medicare (Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health)v1.pdf