The baby boomers are the largest group of people experiencing hearing loss today. Baby boomers are estimated to have a hearing loss in one out of six cases. However, only about 25% of boomers proactively seek help, despite a growing number living with hearing loss.
Baby Boomers were born after a sharp increase in birth rates shortly after World War II. They were the first generation to listen to Rock & Roll music. There is no direct link to hearing loss, but rock music was louder than the popular music of the generation before.
A third of the population is made up of baby boomers today, and despite their approaching retirement age, many of them have opted to forego retirement altogether. The inability to hear well may be attributed to less-than-ideal workplaces, as many Americans work well into their late 60s.
How Does Hearing Loss Occur?
You are more likely to suffer from hearing loss as you age if you spend a lot of time in a noisy workplace. Over time, constant exposure to loud noises can weaken hearing since ears are constantly bombarded with loud noises every day. Therefore, aging and hearing loss are closely related in cases of occupational hearing loss.
The number of Americans with hearing loss is estimated at nearly 48 million. Hearing loss statistics are likely to rise as baby boomers age. Those who have hearing loss should seek help. Let them know they are not alone. It is essential to seek treatment sooner rather than later, regardless of how severe the hearing loss is.
Getting treatment sooner will help prevent the problem from worsening, regardless of how severe the hearing loss is.
The Stigma Around Hearing Aids
People who suffer from hearing loss confess that they feel a powerful sense of stigma around hearing aids.
Because of this stigma surrounding hearing aids, many people who would benefit from hearing aids are often against getting them. According to online polls, it appears that boomers are not enthusiastic about hearing aids. But there is some hope for the future.
Hearing aids would benefit countless more people than those currently using them. Fortunately, the concept is gaining more and more popularity.
Age-Related Hearing Loss
People entering their early to mid-sixties are significantly more likely to suffer hearing loss. The baby boom generation is currently experiencing its peak years for hearing loss. The average time it takes people to act on a hearing issue is 5-7 years from when they first notice it.
Across all age groups, over 58 million Americans experience some form of hearing impairment. According to estimates, over 900 million people worldwide will be affected by 2050. It’s not too late to avert disaster.
Awareness is the key to this positive change. Hearing aids can also be encouraged, and we should promote safe hearing habits and regular hearing protection.
Signs of Hearing Loss
As people age, their hearing changes. Age-related hearing loss may also appear subtle at first.
Depressed, isolated, and memory problems are more likely to affect people with untreated hearing loss. Therefore, it’s essential to be aware of the early signs. Consult your doctor or an audiologist if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
Usually, the cells that detect high-pitched sounds are the first to fail when aging strikes the cochlea, the inner ear organ that helps you hear. High-pitched voices, such as children and women, can be challenging to understand.
Many letters in spoken language, such as “f” and “s,” have high-pitched sounds, contrary to the background noise at malls and restaurants. The noise will be louder than people’s voices if you have trouble hearing high tones. A less sensitive brain can also have difficulty ignoring background noise due to age-related changes in sound processes.
You have to fill in the gaps in your understanding of what others say when you can’t hear all the speech sounds. Especially when many people are talking at once, that takes a lot of focus. You will likely feel worn out after socializing. A doctor or an audiologist can help if this is the case for you. You may benefit from a professional fitting.
It is not unusual for the brain to compensate for one sense that is not working as well as it used to by using another sense — in this case, sight. If you have trouble hearing, you may shift your gaze to the speaker’s mouth.
Sound effects, music, and dialogue are often mixed in television shows. The music and effects can drown parts of the speech when you hear bass tones better than high tones. Hence, you may need to turn up the volume to understand what they are saying. If others in your house complain about how loud the TV is, it might be time to get your hearing tested.
How to Approach Talking About Hearing Loss
It can often be difficult for those with hearing loss to admit they have a problem hearing. It may take an intervention on behalf of the family to get them to consider seeking professional help. If you believe that a loved one may have difficulty hearing, it’s not too late to do something.
But, it is essential to keep in mind a strategy to approach them. Making sure you are kind, caring, and empathetic is the key to approaching this topic. Ultimately, it may be best to convince your loved one to schedule a hearing evaluation as soon as possible.
If you live in the Tucson area, consider using El Dorado Hearing for your hearing needs.