DEAR DR. ROACH: My husband and I are both senior citizens. My hearing deteriorated noticeably more than two years ago. I had an ENT check me, and no tumor or anything that might have caused the loss was found — just bad genes. I went to a local “hearing aid” specialist in April 2013 to be fitted for two hearing aids, but they were FAR from perfect. After a year of fussing, making minor adjustments, etc., they completely did them over, with new molds of my ear canals, and made them adjustable for various situations. While not as good as the “younger” me, they are much better, and now I wear them almost daily, taking them out only when I play golf or eat. My husband recently found out that he could get hearing aids through Veteran’s Affairs, and he was fitted for bilateral hearing aids. He received them two weeks ago, and like many “mature” men who have hearing aids, he is threatening to put them back in the box and in a drawer. I have reminded him that he did not lose his hearing overnight and getting used to them will not be an overnight experience. Also, he doesn’t want the expense of going to a private audiologist to see if there is any solution to his problem. Any suggestions? — H.A.

ANSWER: He should learn from his wise wife. It does take time to live with them, and a dedicated professional who can help make adjustments to the hearing aids certainly can help that process. I would have hoped he would have learned from your experience.

That being said, after my last column on hearing aids, many people wrote in to tell me that despite much adjustment, they were never able to get satisfactory results.

I would love to hear some tips on how to get good results from people who have gone through the process and from professionals who fit people.

DEAR DR. ROACH: In regard to the issue of criminal behavior in people with ADHD, in 2013, a large-scale study in Sweden showed that treating ADHD with stimulants like Adderall or Ritalin reduced criminality by 32 percent in men and 41 percent in women. The Swedish study was based on 25,656 patients with ADHD from a country that only diagnoses about .7 percent of their population with this disorder. So, while our media is reporting about the overdiagnosis and overmedication of ADHD in America, the research is suggesting that there is a large percentage of people who have ADHD and are undiagnosed. And among those who are diagnosed the percentage who are prescribed medication and are compliant in taking it (especially as they move into adolescence and adulthood) is low. Studies have estimated that up to 70 percent of the prison population may meet criteria for ADHD. The Swedish study suggests that paying attention to diagnosis and treatment could make a significant difference in reducing crime. On an individual, family and community level, the accurate diagnosis and treatment of ADHD could improve lives, learning and the productivity of a lot of people. It also could improve the lives of the people who care about them, teach them, employ them, rely on them as parents and love them. — K.M., Ph.D.

DR.ROACH RESPONDS: Thank you, doctor, for writing to emphasize the importance of recognizing and treating ADHD in the adult population.

TO READERS: Many people have come down with the mysterious illness chronic fatigue syndrome. The booklet on it explains the illness and its treatment. To obtain a copy, write: Dr. Roach — No. 304, Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Enclose a check or money order (no cash) for $4.75 U.S./$6 Can. with the recipient’s printed name and address. Please allow four weeks for delivery.

Dr. Roach regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but will incorporate them in the column whenever possible. Readers may email questions to [email protected] or request an order form of available health newsletters at P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Health newsletters may be ordered from www.rbmamall.com.

(c) 2014 North America Syndicate Inc.

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