Hearing loss is now more prevalent among baby boomers than ever before. Approximately one out of every six baby boomers lives with some form of hearing loss.
The steady rise in hearing loss cases among boomers can be attributed to the lack of regular hearing tests, improper hearing protection and care, and the aging workforce exposed to louder environments.
Tinnitus and Baby Boomers
Those born between 1946 and 1964 are considered baby boomers. A ‘baby boom’ occurred shortly after World War II when birth rates spiked. Since then, the name has stuck and become a popular nickname for this generation.
Currently, baby boomers range in age from 58 to 76. 1 in 6 baby boomers has been diagnosed formally with hearing loss. Statistics show that an individual’s likelihood of hearing loss is almost 50/50 by reaching 65. There’s a bit of a catch here because most people don’t even recognize that they have hearing problems until someone else points it out to them – so this number may be way higher.
Approximately 50 million baby boomers are expected to suffer from hearing loss by 2030.
Hearing loss can lead to tinnitus. Depreciation of hearing occurs as we age, accounting for the bulk of hearing loss. So baby boomers are at greater risk for hearing loss and tinnitus.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus symptoms can often be challenging to pinpoint. It is usually signified by a ringing, buzzing, roaring, clicking, or hissing in one or both ears. Depending on the severity of the condition, tinnitus can be heard in one or both ears. It can range in pitch from a low roar to a high squeal.
There may be times when the sound is so loud that you cannot hear external sounds or concentrate. There is no guarantee that tinnitus will always exist or if it will come and go over time.
Tinnitus is common for those who live or work in environments where they are exposed to dangerously high decibels of noise. Hair cells in our ears are permanently damaged, leading to hearing loss and tinnitus. Luckily, you can protect your hearing if you take precautions by removing yourself from loud environments or using proper ear protection.
Other causes of tinnitus are:
- Earwax buildup
- Stress and depression
- Head or neck injuries
- Abnormal bone growth
- Benign tumor
- Meniere’s disease
Start by talking to your primary care provider if you think you or a loved one is experiencing hearing loss or tinnitus.
What to do if you Have Tinnitus
It would be a good idea to ask your doctor for a referral to an audiologist. Audiometric hearing testing is not usually performed by doctors or ENTs and is more commonly performed by a hearing specialist.
You may be wondering, “Where can I get a tinnitus test near me”?” If you live in Arizona, consider visiting El Dorado Hearing, located in the Tucson area. It is a dedicated local resource for hearing-related issues. If you believe you may suffer tinnitus symptoms, it is crucial to visit a hearing professional and get tested immediately.
The risk of other, more severe diseases increases when a hearing loss goes untreated. The rate of mental decline in older adults is directly related to untreated hearing loss. In the absence of many sounds to process any longer, the brain feels the backlash.
Those with hearing loss have a greater chance of developing diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease because their brains deteriorate quicker due to lack of stimulation.
Tinnitus’ Effect on Your Health
The impact that hearing loss has on one’s social life is one of the most commonly shared side effects. Whether one is able-hearing or not, a noisy, crowded place is not enjoyable to talk in. With hearing loss, you can imagine how such environments make someone feel.
Leaving the house can sometimes feel like a burden, especially if you are frustrated by your hearing loss. Many people with hearing loss experience depression, anxiety, and social isolation.
Hearing loss should not be viewed as a burden by others, whether it’s a relative, friend, or loved one. Communicating regularly with those we care about is so important. Being open about your communication needs is better than hiding a hearing loss due to pride or insecurity.
Hearing Loss and Tinnitus Testing
There is no need to feel helpless due to hearing loss or tinnitus. Fortunately, hearing aids can be used to treat and improve more than 90% of hearing loss and itnnitus cases. The testing is painless and straightforward.
The importance of routine hearing tests for boomers cannot be overstated. Baby boomers are in the age group that falls in the range when hearing loss sets in. Detecting hearing loss as early as possible is the key to treating it successfully.
Contact El Dorado Hearing today for an appointment to see how we can help you get on the road to better hearing today!