For many baby boomers, taking care of aging family members (see hearing loss and parents) is part of their daily routine. Baby boomers who spend time around their parents may notice that their loved ones are disengaged, withdrawn, and even depressed. This is not a natural part of the aging process and, unfortunately, is often casually diagnosed as mental fatigue and early dementia. However, in many cases, the cause is simply treatable hearing loss.
Hearing loss affects millions, but is often untreated. Some sufferers do not recognize their own hearing loss signs or they misunderstand the possible advantages of hearing aids and other treatments. More importantly, hearing loss is not just a burden on the sufferer; family members, friends, co-workers, and others all suffer when communication is compromised.
Loss of hearing affects not just the aging. According to the National Institutes of Health, several between the ages 20 and 69 have high-frequency hearing loss due to noise exposure. More alarming, the World Health Organization predicts that 1.1 billion young people are at risk of losing their hearing because of exposure to unsafe volume levels in personal audio devices.
Since hearing loss affects a person’s ability to communicate, social interaction is negatively affected. There are strong ties between hearing loss and depression. The key is intervention, treatment, and rehabilitation. While there are many social stigmas surrounding hearing aids, they remain the likely best form of treatment. Today’s technological improvements mean that more sophisticated, less-bulky solutions are available.
If someone you love seems to suffer from hearing loss, do everyone a favor and talk to them about visiting an audiologists. Proper treatment begins with proper diagnosis. Hearing aids are available for the most discriminating of tastes and budgets. The tools and devices exist to improve their hearing, their communication, and their overall quality of life.
Consider taking our Virtual Hearing Consultation from the comfort of your own home! Talk to our audiologist just by using your computer or laptop from your own home. And ask whether a hearing test would be the best thing to help you identify whether you have hearing loss.