As they age, more and more Baby Boomers are experiencing hearing loss. This group is comprises people born between 1946 and 1964. Baby Boomers have a hearing problem in 14.6% of cases. That’s a whopping one in six people! Even still, only 25 percent of Baby Boomers with hearing loss actively seek help. Today, the Baby Boomer generation accounts for 76 million Americans in the United States.
We live in a noisy world. Noise is responsible for more than a third of all hearing loss cases, with baby boomers having the highest prevalence of hearing loss.
Baby Boomers: A Large Portion of our Population
About a third of today’s workforce comprises Baby Boomers. The choices and circumstances of those who reach retirement age dictate whether they continue to work or retire at all. In the mid-to-late 60s, many in the Baby Boomer generation worked in less-than-ideal environments, which may have negatively affected their hearing. Constant exposure to loud daily noise can weaken hearing.
Foremost, Baby Boomers must identify the signs of hearing loss and then take action. Most primary care practitioners do not screen for hearing loss during physicals, so even if you have hearing loss, your doctor may not recognize it. If you are having trouble following conversations in social settings or if someone has complained about your hearing, it’s important these circumstances are not overlooked. If you notice these symptoms, you may need a hearing test.
During the postwar boom, Americans became very productive, and families could afford to grow. The strong American economy made loud recreational activities more accessible to the children as they grew into young adults in the 1960s and 1970s. From rock concerts to ski boats to hot rods to stereo systems, loud noises were a daily part of American life long before studies showed they caused hearing damage.
A Bad Stigma Around Hearing Loss
Unfortunately, because of the lack of hearing aid technology when this group was growing up, a negative stigma associated with hearing aids developed. The introduction of digital hearing technology in the late 1990s changed everything about hearing aids.
A digital hearing aid is essentially a miniature computer that can perform a wide range of sound processing. Compared to analog and linear hearing aids, these hearing aids drastically increase the user’s options. There have been several notable advances in digital products over the last decade, with some particularly outstanding achievements in the last two years.
The Importance of Seeking Help
There is no need to suffer from the severe communication problems associated with hearing impairments. Help is available. Seeking help is definitely something that you should do, because hearing is such a gift!
Hearing loss is increasing among the masses, since many people don’t know where to look for help. It takes an average of seven years for people to seek treatment for hearing loss. Some do not seek help right away because they believe hearing loss is an inevitable part of aging. Others may not realize they have hearing problems or think their condition isn’t that severe.
The Consequences of Untreated Hearing Loss
When hearing loss is not treated, it can cause some serious problems. Research shows untreated hearing loss to have detrimental effects on social, cognitive, and health aspects. These effects can adversely affect your quality of life, but they may vary in intensity.
Having trouble following conversations in a group setting can be a sign of hearing loss. Because of this problem, you are more likely to avoid visiting with friends and family, which can lead to anxiety and depression. You may feel anxious if you are going to be immersed in a meeting or large group where there are many conversations.
You can also lose your cognitive abilities if you let your hearing loss go untreated. Because the brain is not working on identifying distinctt sounds and nuances as it would when it is hearing well, it receives less stimulation. Memory loss or dementia can result from a lack of brain activity.
Imagine your brain as a muscle group in your body; if you exercise those muscles, you remain healthy. By focusing on just one area, however, you can weaken the other parts of your body. Untreated hearing loss weakens the brain. Memory loss is more likely when the portion of your brain that transmits sound becomes weaker.
Don’t Wait, Seek Help
If you or a loved one believes you suffer from hearing loss, it is important to seek treatment immediately. Simply getting a short hearing test will alert you if any problems exist that require treatment. If you live in the Las Vegas area, consider visiting Hearing Associates of Las Vegas today to learn more.