Untreated Hearing Loss Affects Baby Boomers Still in the Workforce


Source: The Hearing Journal,Vol. 65 Issue 10

Ernest Hemingway once said, “Retirement is the ugliest word in the language” and in today’s society, it is true. Many baby boomers may yearn for retirement, but uncertain finances and healthcare have influenced the need to stay in the workforce longer. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that the percentage of workers between the ages of 65 to 74 is expected to increase by 83.4 percent from 2006 to 2016. (See FastLinks.) But as boomers stay in the workforce longer, untreated hearing loss may sap their incomes and employment.

Research reported by the Better Hearing Institute demonstrated that the use of hearing aids reduces the risk of losing income by 90 to 100 percent for those with mild hearing loss and 65 to 77 for those with moderate to severe hearing loss. (See FastLinks.) Those with moderate to severe hearing loss who use aids are twice as likely to be employed as their peers who do not use.

The verdict seems clear. Boomers with hearing problems “can continue doing their jobs at a satisfactory level if they do obtain hearing aids,” said Robyn Cox, PhD, a professor of audiology at the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Memphis.

Then why are baby boomers not having routine hearing checks and, if they do have hearing loss, use hearing aids? Dr. Cox said she believes the problem is innate in current medical care. “Routine hearing checks are not part of the culture,” she said. “We get all types of checks but neglect our hearing. We have not taught people to realize that hearing needs to be checked.”

See complete article here.