Come on. Admit it. If you remember where you were the day the music died, (February 3, 1959), chances are the old hearing just aint what it used to be.
May is Better Hearing and Speech Month. An opportunity for us and hearing health professionals across the nation to stress the importance of healthy hearing practices. Time for you to consider getting your hearing tested.
Why wouldnt you have your hearing tested? Fraid its gonna hurt? It doesnt. Fraid its going to cost a lot of money? Some are free! Fraid you wont like what you hearor dont hear?
Some Ear Stats
Oh, yeah, maybe youre too young to have a hearing loss. What do you think those MP3 players are doing to natures hearing system? Check out the numbers compiled by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) to see if you fit the profile.
50% of adults with hearing loss have never had their hearing tested.
32.5 million Americans experience some degree of hearing loss.
Two out of every 1,000 newborns experience deafness or hearing impairment at birth.
22 million Americans have hearing loss caused by exposure to loud sounds thanks to ear buds, headphones, those humongous sub-woofers in cars and the general noise in which most of us live each day. Its a noisy world.
Only 20% of individuals who would benefit from a hearing aid actually wear one.
- At least 12 million Americans have tinnitus. Of these, at least 1 million experience it so severely that it interferes with their daily activities.
Signs and Symptoms
Hearing loss is one of the mostly commonly unaddressed health concerns in America. Here are some more stats for you. According to the Better Hearing Institute (BHI), three in ten people over the age of 60 have hearing loss. And among Americans age 49 to 59, 15% already have hearing issues that is 1 in 6 baby boomers. Younger still, 7.4 percentor one in 14Generation Xers, ages 29 to 40, suffer from hearing loss. Whats more, at least 1.4 million children, 18 or younger, have hearing problems. Need we say more?
The signs of hearing loss can be subtle and occur slowly over time for most people. For others they can be sudden and significant. In either case, as hearing loss progresses so does the impact it has on a persons quality of life. It is important to know the signs and symptoms of hearing loss to ensure you are treated as soon as possible to preserve your quality of life. According to Healthy Hearing here are some commons signs you may have hearing loss:
- You hear people speaking but you strain to understand their words.
- You frequently ask people to repeat what they said.
- You dont laugh at jokes because you miss the story or the punch line.
- You frequently complain that "people mumble".
- You ask others about details of a meeting you just attended.
- You play the TV or radio louder than friends, spouse and relatives.
- You cannot hear the doorbell or the telephone.
- You find that you must look directly at the person you are speaking with to understand them.
Lets Get Serious About Hearing Loss
First, a loss of hearing is a quality of life issue. If your vision deteriorates you get glasses. If your hearing goes downhill, you get hearing aids. And FYI, todays hearing aids are sleek, thinking computers that adapt to your hearing preferences and needs.
Thanks to digital technology, hearing aid design is light years ahead of where we were just 15 years ago. Today, most hearing aids come standard with automated digital features like feedback reduction, loudness control, microphone directionality, noise reduction and other features designed to increase the naturalness and comfort of sound. Less processed, more natural. Thats the only way to go.
And for those of us looking to flash a little attitude, hearing aid makers have developed devices in a full palette of bright colors. No more stigmas. No more hiding hearing loss. No more big beige grandpa-like hearing aids. Today, boomers wear hearing loss as a badge of honor. We were all at Woodstock in 69, remember? So if youve got it flaunt it even if its hearing loss. Some of us still want to let our freak flags fly. You got to check out these candy-apple red units and show your pride and self-respect.
Still groovy? Then get a hearing test and plug back into the world. A hearing aid enables you to enjoy sounds the way you did back in the day. You can plug in to conversations with friends and enjoy improved relationships with loved ones when you can actually hear what these folks are saying.
But hearing aids are too expensive
Hearing Aid Tax Credit
The government is considering giving us all a hearing aid assistance tax credit when we buy a hearing aid. Legislation H.R. 2329/S. 1410 would provide up to a $1000 tax credit for two hearing aids. The BHI, in collaboration with the Hearing Industries Association (HIA), has developed a website dedicated to assist consumers in learning more about this legislation and how to ensure this important legislation is passed by our government. The tax credit would assist millions of Americans in purchasing the necessary devices to help them with hearing loss and regain quality of life. For more information please visit: www.hearingaidtaxcredit.org.
If It Feels Good Do It
The mantra of the 60s.
So what are you waiting for? Get your hearing tested. You can check to see if you may be experiencing hearing loss via the online questionnaire first. Thats easy. And, if you dont like the results and you finally admit to yourself that the high notes arent quite as clear as they used to be, theres a hearing health professional close by one who can provide more extensive testing and, if needed, fit you with a computer-driven, decibel-chomping ear machine thatll make you feel glad all over. To find one near you click here www.healthyhearing.com/.