According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDDC), about fifteen percent of U.S. adults over the age of eighteen report having some trouble hearing.
It is also estimated that nearly twenty-nine million adults could benefit from the use of hearing aids.
But these practical tools that can increase people’s quality of life are not always accessible due to being notoriously expensive.
The average cost of just one hearing aid is two thousand dollars, and most people require one hearing aid for each air.
The price can also vary depending on the kind of hearing aid required– for instance, in-the-ear (ITE) devices, behind-the-ear (BTE) devices, receiver-in-canal (RIC) devices, and more.
So during a recent study, researchers from Taiwan aimed to find a more affordable sound amplification device.
“There’s also a social stigma associated with hearing aids. Many patients are reluctant to wear them because they don’t want to appear old.
So, we started exploring if there are more accessible alternatives,” added Yen-fu Cheng, one of the study’s corresponding authors.
And the team ultimately discovered that some commercial-grade earbuds have the ability to perform just as well as hearing aids.