Boomers in Denial About Hearing Loss

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by Annette Pinder

Baby Boomers and their children have different opinions about almost everything. This is especially true with hearing loss. In fact, an applied research study called, “The Cost of Hearing Loss” surveyed 250 baby boomers and 250 children of boomers.

The survey revealed that 72 percent of boomers believe they have average or better hearing. Interestingly, 70 percent of the children of boomers said family members suggested that their father have his hearing tested, and 64 percent suggested the same for their mother. Yet, only 32 percent of boomers said that a family member suggested they have their hearing tested and 75 percent said they are not currently using hearing aids and are not considering them.

Even when hearing assistance is needed, stigmas discourage those with hearing loss from considering hearing devices.

* 34 percent say they look awkward.

* 29 percent say they make you look old.

* 25 percent say they are uncomfortable.

* 23 percent say they are too hard to buy.

* 20 percent say they don’t work.

* 15 percent say they make you look weak.

David Pucci, licensed audiologist at the Niagara Hearing Clinic says, “There is a significant disconnect between boomers and their children about the consequences of hearing loss. Over time, hearing loss can cause anxiety, depression, isolation, and loneliness. Untreated hearing loss, a physical condition, can result in a psychological condition, making it important to seek a solution promptly.”

Niagara Hearing Clinic is a division of Niagara Cerebral Palsy (NCP), and audiology services at the clinic include comprehensive hearing evaluations and hearing aid management. Audiologists determine whether a hearing loss is present, the type and severity of the loss, and whether hearing aids or other assistive listening devices are needed. Pucci handles all hearing aid fittings and follow-up care. Ear molds, batteries, and other accessories are available. A comprehensive evaluation also helps determine if other medical conditions are present so that referrals for treatment can be made, if necessary.

Pucci says, “The goal of the Niagara Hearing Clinic is to provide the best hearing health services to assist in preventing hearing problems, treating hearing loss, and maintaining hearing ability.” He adds, “Put it this way, you wouldn’t walk around without glasses if you couldn’t see, so why would you walk around without a hearing aid if you couldn’t hear?”

Niagara Cerebral Palsy (NCP) is a non-profit corporation that offers a continuum of services for individuals with and without disabilities, including 24-hour intermediate care, in-home respite, service coordination, independent living apartments, day treatment, clinical therapy, supported employment, preschool and early childhood education and the Niagara Hearing Clinic.

WNY Resource:
Niagara Hearing Clinic provides hearing services to individuals of all ages from two convenient locations – the Shaw Building, 5467 Upper Mountain Road, Lockport, 716-439-7461 and the Trott Building, 1001 11th Street in Niagara Falls, 716-278-8190. Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance are accepted.