Was my hearing loss caused by those dozens of concerts at San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium in my teens, leaning next to the huge thumping speakers to hear my favorites like Janis Joplin?
Was it caused by 30 years of scuba diving?
Or was my hearing loss caused by heredity? After all, both of my parents wear hearing aids.
What Every Senior Should Know About Hearing Loss
According to the Better Hearing Institute and the American Speech Language Hearing Association, there are a variety of causes for hearing loss, from accidents and explosions to heredity and continuous exposure to noise.
- 36 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss.
- Nearly half of an AARP/ASHA 2011 poll (47%) reported untreated hearing loss.
- About 15% (26 million Americans), age 20-69, have high frequency hearing loss due to exposure to loud noises.
- Men are more likely to experience hearing loss than women.
- Accidents – Sudden, noise-induced hearing loss is caused by gunfire and explosions to our wounded veterans.
- Heredity – If your parents have hearing loss, you may eventually have it, too.
- Denial – Most people wait up to seven years before finally doing something about their hearing loss. (I did.)
- Other causes include earwax buildup, injuries, ear infections, something stuck in your ear, a ruptured eardrum, and other middle or inner ear conditions.
Save Your Marriage. Get A Hearing Test
When my hearing loss began 9 years ago, I actually thought my left car speaker was broken. So I just cranked up the radio, but my wife noticed how much louder the car radio and the TV volume were than before. She also noticed how I kept asking her, and our daughter, to repeat themselves.
I finally agreed to have a hearing test – it showed significant loss on high frequencies in my left ear only. I got fitted with an over-the-ear device that has trained my brain to hear better. Now, I can block out external noise in the worst settings – restaurants – and hear the people all around the table, not just to my right, or my “good” ear.
I even wrote my audiologist a testimonial: “Thanks for saving my marriage. My wife no longer has to yell at me to turn down the TV. In fact, now I often tell her to lower her voice.”
Regular Visits from Audiologists
Hearing loss isn’t just personal. It affects your spouse, your relationships with your children and grandchildren, and your friends. Today, at many of the larger senior living and assisted living communities, most of the residents either wear hearing aids or should wear them.
Hearing loss impedes their ability to play an active role in their community where the biggest social event of the day is the evening meal. If you can’t hear, you can’t participate in all the social talk and gossip.
That’s why having a hearing professional available is actually an amenity offered by many senior living communities, and why they regularly schedule visits from audiologists and other hearing specialists onsite.
SGD is the Bay Area advertising, marketing and branding agency specializing in seniors and boomers. We’ve repositioned, rebranded and relaunched senior living communities in California, Kentucky, Maryland and Virginia attaining an occupancy rate of 90% or more in very competitive markets, despite recessionary times.
About the Author Gil Zeimer is a Creative Director / Copywriter at SGD Advertising specializing in senior / boomer, healthcare, lifestyle, financial, travel / leisure and technology brands since 1984.