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Baby Boomer Men & Women in Denial About Hearing Loss

A new survey finds that Baby Boomers think their hearing is just fine, thank you.

The children of those same folks, however, think mom and dad should be checked out for a hearing aid.

Siemens Hearing Instruments in a recent survey of 250 Baby Boomers and 250 of their children found:

  • 72 percent of the Baby Boomers survey believed their hearing is average or better;
  • 70 percent of children with a Boomer father have suggested that he have his hearing tested;
  • 64 percent have suggested the same for their Boomer mother.

“Older Americans are in denial about their hearing loss and are unaware of the negative consequences of an undiagnosed hearing loss,” Dr. Tom Powers, vice president of Audiology and Compliance at Siemens Hearing, said in a statement.

“By taking the proper steps to have their hearing tested and treated, Boomers can greatly increase their quality of life, not only through the increased sounds around them, but through greatly enriched relationships with their friends and family.”

The survey also revealed some social consequences of poor hearing:

  • 54 percent of respondents perceive depression in their father and 50 percent report the same for their mother because of a lack of hearing;
  • 53 percent of children perceive isolation on the part of their father and 49 percent for their mother;
  • 58 percent of children respondents perceive anger on the part of their father, while 50 percent feel the same about their mother.

According to a WebMD report: About 14 percent of people between ages 45 and 64 have hearing loss (an increase of 26 percent in this age group since 1971). And as the baby boomers continue to age, the incidence of hearing loss is expected to grow.

The WebMD report also captures the sense that a loss of hearing can affect a person’s place in society.

“The scenario is much too common — and often too painful — for men and women in their 40s and 50s,” it said. “They might sit silently at dinner parties, having difficulty following the conversation. They may feel completely lost when attending the theater, straining to hear what the actors are saying.”


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