Do you hear what's going on around you?
Worse, if you don't, do you consider your hearing loss just a normal =art of
Are you aware that hearing loss has been associated with poor =hinking and
memory ability and can lead to social isolation, depression and =ementia?
Of the 4.5 million 50- to 59-year-olds in the United States =xperiencing
hearing loss, only about 4.3 percent are using hearing =ids.
Another little-known fact: Hearing loss could cost you as much as =30,000
this year, says Dr. Ellen Finkelstein, a New York-based =udiologist.
An expert at identifying difficult-to-diagnose hearing issues, she is =
frequent guest on national radio and TV programs discussing the impact =f
hearing loss on employability.
Q. Why so much hearing loss today?
A. Noise creates more hearing loss, and there's no argument =e've
grown up with more noise – recreational noise – than any =ther generation.
Q. So we use iPods. So what?
A. Lots of things. High blood pressure, for example. Noise =educes the
flow of blood to the brain. Then there is the absence of other noises. =oo much
wax in our ears or those iPods? We are living longer
All these factors can contribute to hearing loss.
Q. And why is this a problem?
A. Well, the national unemployment rate is hovering around 8.6 =ercent
and there is an indication that hearing loss is contributing and costing =s an
estimated $176 billion a year due to underemployment.
A study published by the Better Hearing Institute revealed that =eople with
severe hearing loss had a 15.6 percent unemployment rate, or double the =ormal
hearing population and nearly double those who use hearing =ids.
If you suspect you having hearing loss and don't get treatment, it =an cost
Q. But hearing aids are not covered by most health insurance and =an cost
up to $35,000.
A. Flip it and consider the quality-of-life issues. Aids also =ast
awhile. The improved quality of life is reason enough to get an =ssessment.
Q. What kind of assessment?
A. A full evaluation by an audiologist who has a doctoral =egree and
knows how to administer the test properly. You should be able to get a =eferral
from your doctor.
Q. Hearing aids are so obvious.
A. Not any more. There are excellent advancements in =echnology.
You need to see what an aid can do to help you with your daily =ctivities.
And you need to find an aid that is cosmetically
They can be discreet and include speech enhancers.
Q. So what's the bottom line?
A. Have an annual hearing exam. Wear protective ear coverings =f you
work in a noisy area. Get proper counseling and training if you are =sing a
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