Every few weeks my husband and I receive an invitation through the mail to have our hearing tested and recently I had the opportunity to listen to a hearing specialist. I was astounded by some of the statistics cited, which lead to my researching the subject.
Hearing loss or hearing impairment is considered a health issue and it ranks second among the most prevalent health issues. Statistically over 48 million Americans experience hearing loss and at age 65 one out of three people has a hearing loss. Although age is one of the causes of hearing loss, other causes may be noise, earwax accumulation, severe pressure change, ototoxic drugs, injuries and foreign objects in the ear. Roughly 60 percent of the people with hearing loss are either in the work force or in educational settings.
Did you know the risk of dementia is multiplied by 1.89 for mild hearing loss, by 3.0 for moderate loss, and by 4.94 for severe loss? Elderly people with hearing loss have an acceleration of cognitive decline greater than 30-40 percent. Also those with even mild hearing loss are twice as likely to develop dementia. The decrease in cognitive performance is equivalent to that of a person 6.8 years older.
Other significant stats included:
-An elderly person’s risk for falling almost triples when they suffer from moderate hearing loss.
-Individuals with untreated hearing loss are twice as likely to be depressed
-People who suffer from hypertension have a greater incidence of hearing loss than those without.
-Hearing loss is twice as common in individuals who have diabetes.
-The brain can lose the ability to interpret words due to a lack of stimulation (auditory deprivation) over an extended period of time.
-Only one out of every five people who could benefit from a hearing aid actually wears one and those who wear one waited an average of seven years before seeking help.
-Hearing loss negatively impacts household income on an average of $12,000 per year (according to a survey by Better Hearing Institute); however the use of hearing aids reduces that loss by 50 percent.
-90 percent of those suffering from tinnitus (ringing in the ears) experienced a loss of hearing.
After learning of all these possible issues resultant of a hearing impairment (as well as having just celebrated another birthday) I have decided to have my hearing tested. It is unfortunate that hearing aids seldom are covered by private insurance, nor are they covered under Medicare. Ranging from $1,000 to $4,000 depending upon the level of technology it’s understandable that fewer than 30 percent of the population age 70 and older, who could benefit from wearing hearing aids, have ever used them.
Since hearing loss is gradual we often do not know we have a hearing deficit but our friends and family do. Perhaps we are always the last to know. Mark Twain said, “Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you would have rather talked.” So I have to wonder how wise would it be to disregard our ear health? Maybe each one of us should include a hearing test as part of our annual checkup then you shall know if you hear what I hear.
Saturday, March 23 Dr. John Wood, formerly of Versailles, will speak at the K of C Hall. The VHS Spring Musical “Wizard of Oz” performance dates will be April, 4, 5 and 6; for tickets contact Lynda York at 937-526-5276.
Next Saturday, March 30 there will be a free will Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser held at Russia’s Hall from 5-7 p.m. sponsored by the Serra Club benefiting local seminarians. Dine in or carry out.
From now until April 12 you can receive free tax preparation (without age or income restrictions) at Worch Library from the AARP Foundation by making an appointment calling 937-526-3416.
RSVP now and mark your calendar for the Charity Wine & Paint Event held Thursday, April 11 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Oakley Place, Greenville. $45 per person; call Sandy at 548-9521. Proceeds benefit the Darke County Nature Center.
Happy birthday to Bessie Barga (100), Dan Lammers , Charlotte Rhoades, Bud Overholser, Tessa Fine, Marla Spencer, Charlotte Rhoades, Mike Shimp, Linda Wilson, Grant Flory, Debbie Shively, Frank Fullenkamp, Susan Buschur, Shiela Coffield, Sandy DeLaet, Nick Beasley, Diane Magoto, Yvonne Ridenour, Missy Francis, Khara Hartzell, Ginger Magoto, Nicole Baltes, Anne Eiting Klamar, Kathy Voisard, Amy Elifritz, Tony Bey, Heather Poor, Mike Shively, Zac Hayes, Jill Gehret, Jeremy Fine, Shirley Magoteaux, Paige Collins, Tom Doseck, Wayne Pittsenbarger, and Brian Blakeley. Happy anniversary wishes to Danielle and Doug Myers (14), Kasey and Doug Christian (24), Kristine and Anthony Barlage (26), and Bonnie and Jerry Bey (48).
Please give your supportive and healing prayers for the many who are dealing with any of life’s countless challenges, and especially Sally Mescher (hip replacement), Thelma Johnson, Sue Vickroy, Tom Scott, Ruth Pierron, Julia Billenstein, Doris Monnin, Don Henry, Frank Fullenkamp, Gary Daniel, Sharron Salley, Cali Groff, Janice Berger, Violet Bensman, Fr. John White, Kellie Gehret, Donna Apple, Michelle Sherman, Aiden Myers, Cyril Frantz, Mary Huelskamp, Anabelle Subler, Barb Goubeaux, and those not mentioned by name who are recuperating, under medical care, and/or are in need of our prayers.
Heartfelt sympathy is extended to the family and friends of Kaylah Loy (26), Carth Jones (63), Shirley Tapp (66), Norma Magoto, and Mildred Bensman (92). Also remembering and keeping in our hearts the memories of Aaron Rose (40), Wayne Magoto (52), Margaret Heilers (64), Edward Bulcher (79), Mary Lou Schulze (89), and Esther Heft (92). Also remembering the lives of Keith Chrisman, Della Mae Luebke, Linda Lochtefeld, Gladys Pepiot, Randy Bergman, Bertha Miller, Mildred Simons, Mary Bayless and all those held within our hearts, but not mentioned by name, as the anniversary of their passing nears.
“One of the best hearing aids a man can have is an attentive wife.” ~Groucho Marx
“The word listen contains the same letters as the word silent.” ~Alfred Brendel
“Blindness separates people from things; deafness separates people from people.” ~Helen Keller
Kathy Magoto is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her Friday Versailles community column. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 526-3798. Feel free to contact her with Versailles news and tidbits. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.