This word became too frequently uttered in my house over the last year, as I tried to decipher Paul’s mumbling from the other room. Last summer I strained to hear the frogs he swore were just down the hill from us, and then, this winter the owls started hooting from under their wing. Finally, I tucked my pride under my own wing and went to get a hearing test.
Sure enough, my left ear was in the start of “severe hearing loss” range, and the right not much better. You wouldn’t have known it. But I had to admit that my body is getting that much closer to being composted! The same week I learned about my hearing loss I was told that my eyes had deteriorated too.
Eyewear is now a fashion statement. But hearing aids? Now that’s a different story.
I read the brochure for Starkey sound technology while waiting for my hearing test. A study from John’s Hopkins reported some alarming findings:
• Older Adults with impaired hearing my have a shorter lifespan.
• 30-40% of people with hearing loss experience a decline in cognitive abilities.
• Adults with hearing loss that goes untreated are more likely to report depression, anxiety, and paranoia than adults who wear hearing aids.
• Adults with untreated hearing loss are more likely to develop dementia, and up to five times greater with severe loss.
• There is also an association with high blood pressure and falling.
In short, don’t put off getting hearing aids if you think you are having trouble understanding conversations in a crowd, or deciphering the words of a loved one, (unless it is convenient not to!), or hearing the raucous serenade of spring birds and peepers.
My prediction is that within the next twenty years hearing aids will become as fashionable as eyewear. Already young people, (myself included before I got my aids), are wearing what look like cigarettes in their ears. Perhaps one day our hearing aids will have colorful, twirly things hanging from the ear pieces, or even flowers sprouting up from either side of our heads!
What? You say! Well, join the crowd. Since getting my aids, I find more and more people who need them. It’s just like when I was pregnant (a very long time ago!) and noticed how many other people were in the same condition. Similarities are what bring us together.
I can’t wait to hear what you say!