I tried to see an otolaryngologist yearly to clear my ear canals of cerumen (wax), up to the drum, for years. I have small ear canals that made that a necessity.
As I got older I complained of difficulties communicating in busy, loud restaurants. The physician saw to it I was given hearing tests. Then, one day five years ago it was clear I had lost a substantive amount of hearing at the upper ranges.
He explained to me that the potential for loss was like the potential for losing muscle mass as I grew older. He said, “Use it or lose it.” I heard that loud and clear as the loss would be brain function, something I couldn’t spare. In other words if one doesn’t hear words clearly they are not processed well and one does not function on “all eight hearing cylinders.” Some viable neuronal cells that process can be lost.
Is there anything more important than a well-functioning brain? If a loss of brain function can be prevented, however much, aren’t hearing aids a good idea? Don’t the modern, digital, hearing aids that are barely visible, if at all, diminish the potential embarrassment of wearing an aid?
Forgive the pun but this one is a no-brainer. Whatever your age if noisy restaurants make it hard for you to communicate or you have some other hearing loss in another environment, don’t you think it is time to see at least an audiologist? I have no financial interest in this business and this blog is free. I am trying to help people maintain as much brain function as possible.
According to an FDA webinar in May of 2012 (https://www.fda.gov/downloads/aboutfda/transparency/basics/ucm305102.pdf):
- 36 million (or 17%) adult population in the US report some degree of hearing loss.
- Less than 20% of those with hearing loss who might benefit from treatment actually seek help.
- Most hearing aid users had lived with hearing loss for 10+ years, and waited until it progressed to moderate‐to‐severe levels before seeking professional help for hearing aid fitting.
Please don’t allow a minute of self-destructive delay to stand in your way. Get it done. A brain is an awful thing to waste. Don’t you think?
H. Robert Rubin, best-selling, Amazon memoirist and author of Look Backward Angel, How Did I Get Through This? and Please Save the Third Dance for Me, all available on Amazon.