Why and when do I need hearing aids?
Many people with impaired hearing do without hearing aids out of shame or with "I can still hear enough" arguments. But this is a mistake, because the brain quickly forgets how to classify sounds. The ENT doctor diagnoses the causes of the reduced hearing ability. This includes, for example, a family history, because there could be an inherited hearing loss. Once the cause is diagnosed, there are several ways to improve hearing.
The hearing status is assessed by means of a hearing test (which takes about 30 minutes, depending on the subjective or medically indicated question). The doctor then discusses the results and advises on how to proceed. On the one hand, this can be the use of a hearing aid, but surgical options are also available. Together with the ENT doctor and, if necessary, a hearing aid acoustician, a solution is found that contributes to improving the quality of life. If the wearing of a hearing aid is indicated, one must first get used to the "new" hearing impression, because the environment is suddenly perceived more clearly (and louder) again. Modern hearing aids are extremely powerful and are now visually less conspicuous. In recent years, advances in the development of hearing implants have led to a broadening of the indications for hearing systems.
Implantable hearing systems make it possible to treat all forms of sensorineural hearing loss and thus offer patients additional treatment options. An essential prerequisite for the use of conventional hearing aids as well as some of the implantable hearing aids is the presence of so-called inner hair cells. These are sensory cells in the cochlea that convert sound-induced movements into an electrical signal and transmit it to the brain via the auditory nerve.
There is an increasing need for hearing aids not only among older people, but also among the younger generation. Patients who wear hearing aids are recommended to have a check-up with an ENT specialist at least every 3 years.
AHV subsidy for hearing aids
As already announced, from 1 July 2018 the AHV will definitely pay a lump sum for hearing aids and implantable hearing systems for fittings in both ears. This new regulation will come into force on 1 July 2018, so that patients may only register with the AHV for an initial fitting or re-fitting from 1 July 2018 in order to be able to claim the new regulation.
Hearing aid provision
From 1 July 2018, a distinction will also be made in AHV between unilateral and bilateral hearing aid provision. The bilateral AHV flat rate is 75% of the IV flat rate; this corresponds to CHF 1237.50. The unilateral AHV flat rate is CHF 630 as before.
A recognised ORL expert doctor determines whether a unilateral or bilateral fitting is indicated in the mandatory expert opinion prior to each fitting.
As before, the AHV only pays a contribution for the hearing aid fitting and its service, e.g. cleaning of the hearing aids, but not for further services such as repairs or batteries.