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Hard of Hearing is Hard on a Marriage

Hearing loss isnt fun, but it is a natural part of aging for many seniors who are now entering retirement ageand hearing aid age. Maybe youve been putting it off. Too much trouble. Too expensive. You can live with it.

Well, you may be able to live with it, but what about your spouse the man or woman of your dreams? What toll does poor hearing have a life-long relationship? Well, a survey conducted by Energizer (the pink bunny folks) clearly shows that healthy hearing and a healthy marriage are closely linked. Must be the frustration factor.

May Is Better Hearing and Speech Month

Energizers All Ears hearing survey is part of the battery makers popular KEEP GOING Live Healthy campaign designed to get those gray-hairs out there enjoying life to its fullest. You dont let a few aches and pains and a touch of hearing loss keep you down. Keep going. Youve got a lot of living to do.

Wouldnt it be nice if you could hear it?

Some Surprising Survey Results

The Energizer All Ears survey polled men and women between the ages of 44 and 62. The companys Energizer Specialty Batteries division (hearing aid batteries, among them), the driving force behind the companys KEEP GOING Live Healthy campaign, published the results of the study during May 2008 Better Hearing and Speech Month, and some of these results were surprising, to say the least.

Scan these facts:

47.8% of respondents feel their marriages have suffered because of a spouses hearing loss. Folks, thats almost half of all married couples of a certain age!

Clearly, being hard of hearing causes hard feelings. Seven out of 10 respondents feel annoyed when a spouse cant hear them speak. 16.4% feel ignored and 8.1% claim they feel sadness or are hurt by the lack of the spouses response.

More than half of survey takers report talking louder so the spouse can hear, while eight out of 10 spouses reveal that by talking louder, they can better communicate with husband or wife. Thats a whole lot of loud talking going on!

This is a good one selective hearing loss. 45.3% of spouses think partners dont hear chore requests while 77.5% say their spouses can hear them making a snack. Hmmm, thats not too surprising.

A few more fast facts: 56.8% feel their spouse is reluctant to have a hearing test.

46.4% believe their spouses are in denial about hearing loss (aint that the truth)

One-third of spouses are certain their partners have not had a hearing screen in the past three years and almost one-quarter report that spouses have never had their hearing tested by a professional.

According to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA), 28 million Americans experience hearing loss. Thats a lot of us.

So What Are You So Afraid Of?

Afraid to find out the truth? Afraid that a hearing loss indicates old age? (So does that expanding bald spot on the back of your head!) Afraid that wearing a hearing aid is giving in to Father Time or worse, dorky?

A hearing test is painless, it only takes a few minutes and, if your hearing professional determines that you have hearing loss and, would, indeed, benefit from wearing hearing aids, you ready to throw in the towel? Of course not. Were Boomers, man.

Were old. Were bold.

Heres What the Pros Say

This study illustrates that hearing loss affects more than the person experiencing it, said Dr. Bary Williams, Au.D. audiologist. Whether it is diagnosed hearing loss or a slight case of selective hearing, couples must work together and encourage healthy hearing habits.

Dr. Williams has been in the hearing health industry for 30 years and has recently teamed up with the Energizer Specialty Battery line in 2008 to help educate people on the importance of hearing health and the key tools needed to manage hearing loss. Dr. Williams stresses the connection between hearing screenings and maintaining a high quality of life. For example, untreated hearing loss could mean the difference between living independently and requiring assistance. If you cant hear the phone, doorbell, fire alarm, etc., its going to be extremely difficult to maintain your independence. If you have a hearing issueand one-third of boomers think they doget a hearing screening to determine if you need a hearing aid, advises Dr. Williams. If not, you put yourself and others at risk.

Keep Going. Live Healthy. May is Better Hearing and Speech Month So Celebrate!

The Energizer Bunny keeps going and so should you.

Hearing loss? Sure, its serious, but its not something you have to live with. More from Dr. Williams. for those who need a hearing aid, dont despair. Thanks to technological advancements in hearing devices and their batteries, people can find solutions to meet their specific needs and lifestyles.

Remember, hearing the world around you isnt something to give up. Its something worth fighting for and with companies like Energizer behind us, we can keep going and going and going

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