Hearing aid use in private & governmental sectors


Background: Hearing loss has a detrimental effect on the patient`s communication, vocational and social life, and in children, it affect speech development and school performance. There are many types of hearing aids to help the patients to overcome the difficulty of hearing and communication and some of them, like the in the ear hearing aids, are preferred cosmetically. Binaural hearing aid fitting was proved superior to monaural fitting in terms of speech discrimination in noise and localization of sound. Objectives: to compare the types of hearing aids dispensed in private and governmental sectors. Methods: Hearing aid users from private and governmental sectors were analyzed retrospectively during the interval from Jan to Dec 2012, and it included 110 and 166 hearing aid users respectively. Results: Privately, 59.1% of hearing impaired patients used in the ear type, 40.9% used behind the ear type and the rest of patients, 11.8%, used binaural hearing aids; whereas in the governmental sector, the users of these types accounted to 3.1%, 96.9% and 0% respectively. About two-thirds or more of the ears aided with hearing aids were of moderate degree and sensori-neural type in both sectors. Conclusions: It is necessary to change the policy of hearing aid fitting in the governmental sector with paying more attention to binaural hearing aid fitting, and hearing aid prescription is geared to the need and desire of hearing aid users.