Hearing Health in the News

Today let’s look at some recent news articles about hearing loss.

Hearing Loss in the Movies.

Creed II recently opened up in theaters around the country. According to Forbes the movie was a record-breaker debuting at $55 million in box office sales during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The character Bianca who is in love with boxer Adonis Creed also has hearing loss. The movie includes scenes of Bianca inserting and removing her hearing aids, dealing with the difficulties of hearing loss and all the ways in which she and Creed make communication happen.

Expanding Employment for Those with Hearing Loss.

Uber executives called out that the unemployment and underemployment rate combined for people who are deaf or hard of hearing is 70%. Uber recently announced that they are expanding options on Uber’s platform for drivers with hearing health problems and their riders. Features already in place include options for visual notifications versus audio and text-only communication instead of calls. Uber also has this website www.ubersignlanguage.com which is a tool for riders to learn simple American Sign Language (ASL) phrases to help them communicate with their drivers.

CNN reported this fall that Starbucks opened its first ASL store in the Washington D.C. area. The store is located near Gallaudet University which is the world’s only liberal arts university for the deaf and hard of hearing. Employees are all fluent in ASL and welcome both “signers” and “non-signers” with hot coffee.

Untreated Hearing Loss Can Increase Medical Costs.

“Older adults with untreated hearing loss spend tens of thousands of dollars on extra medical bills because of longer and more frequent hospital visits,” reports the Washington Post in November. Researchers recently published their findings from studying the medical insurance claims of 154,000 U.S. adults. Over a 10-year period adults in the study with hearing loss incurred up to $22,000 more in medical costs than those without hearing loss.