Ida News

Frank Lin Updates His Presentation on Hearing and Healthy Aging

Frank Lin Updates His Presentation on Hearing and Healthy Aging

Thu Apr 07, 2016 09:26 AMBy Amanda Farah Cox
Dr. Frank Lin gave an updated version of his talk, Hearing Loss and Healthy Aging – A public Health Perspective. Dr. Lin gave the talk three years ago to an audience at the Ida Institute in the run-up to our Vision 2020 process. Dr. Lin is an otologyst and associate professor at Johns Hopkins University, but his focus for research is gerontology and healthy aging. He presented his updated talk at the 25th Annual Research Symposium at the ASHA Convention in November 2015. At almost two hours, it is nearly double the length of the talk he gave to Ida, but includes updated research and technologies. In his talk, Dr. Lin cites reasons people don’t take action on their hearing loss as:
  • a lack of awareness and understanding
  • cost and affordability
  • access to services and technology
  • technology design and utility
He suggests that all of these areas need to be improved upon if we are to see more people take action on their hearing loss. It may help that there has been an increase in interest of the impact hearing loss has on overall health and the community from such bodies as the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and Institute of Medicine. Dr. Lin also proposes that additional models of hearing health care are needed in order to help more people. In other areas of health care, for example, you speak to your general practitioner before going to a specialist. What has changed since Dr. Lin’s 2013 are the innovations within hearing technologies, such as PSAPS. The hearables that he mentioned then are no longer hypotheticals, but real consumer electronics. He is, however, unwilling to commit to the idea that PSAPS are universally positive or negative. His willingness to commit to grey areas may be influenced by how our attitudes towards other areas and treatments within healthcare have changed even in recent history. Dr. Lin reminds his audience that it was only in the early 1990s that high blood pressure wasn’t treated in older people, but it is now a given that it will be. If we can change attitudes towards blood pressure, why not hearing loss? You can watch the entire talk on YouTube through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.