WASHINGTON, DC, Mar 19 – Too many older Americans – most of us, in fact – suffer from hearing loss. But the worst thing about this fact is that most seniors are not getting their hearing checked on any regular basis, and too many doctors are not encouraging their older patients to get their hearing checked, according to the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC].
Rebecca Weber, CEO of the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC], says that as you might expect some 50% of seniors over the age of 75 have hearing loss. And, she notes, about one-third of those older adults 65 to 70 years of age can’t hear as well as they did when they were younger.
The National Institute on Deafness describes hearing loss as “a sudden or gradual decrease in how well you can hear. It is one of the most common conditions affecting older and elderly adults. Having trouble hearing can make it hard to understand and follow a doctor’s advice, to respond to warnings, and to hear doorbells and alarms. It can also make it hard to enjoy talking with friends and family. All of this can be frustrating, embarrassing, and even dangerous.”
According to a study reported by Newsmax recently, “A national survey of more than 2,000 adults, aged 50 to 80, found that 80% said their primary care doctor hadn’t asked about their hearing in the past two years. Nearly as many said they haven’t had their hearing checked by a professional over the same time period.”
Dr. Michael McKee headed up the study conducted by the University of Michigan’s Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation. It found that “Hearing loss can occur throughout life, but the risk rises with age as our ears lose function. Many people don’t realize they’ve lost hearing ability unless they’re screened or tested.”
McKee warns that “Age-related hearing loss can have wide-ranging consequences, and can be addressed with assistive technologies, yet these data show a major gap in detection, and disparities between groups.”
AMAC’s Weber is recommending that seniors citizens have their hearing checked out even if they are not experiencing obvious signs of loss. “It’s a good thing to find out as soon and as often as need be that your hearing is what it should be at your specific age.”
The Healthy Hearing Website recommends that “Generally, people 60 and older should have a baseline hearing test and get rechecked every few years. (We say “generally” because medical organizations disagree on exactly when an older adult with no symptoms should have their first hearing test, and how often they should get rechecked.) This is to rule out age-related hearing loss.”
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