I ran across an article yesterday by Susan Fitzgerald “AARP-ASHA Survey: Seniors Choose to Live with Hearing Loss”. I don’t intend to repeat the article verbatum here but wish to comment on a few of the findings. 2200 American Seniors were surveyed regarding their choises in hearing wellness. 80% of them reported that “hearing health is very or extremely important to them.” Seniors believed, in the study, that hearing health was a bother but didn’t believe it was a life-death struggle.
What I have seen in my 21 years of practicing in hearing health as an Audiologist is that most people who struggle with hearing loss do not believe that their family contend with their hearing loss more than they do. Are you one of the 80% of the population that believe that hearing loss is nothing more than an irritant? A patient mentioned that he stopped going to church in the Sapulpa area. He told me that he had gone for more than 29 years, but stopped going in the past three years. I asked if the pastor had changed; if they started preaching a different Gospel; or if they people were no longer friendly. His wife and he mentioned that none of those were the option other than his belief that they had “nothing good to say anymore.”
With more conversation, he came to realize that he stopped going to his beloved church because he could not hear the pastor anymore. Six months after accepting help with his hearing, he questioned me about something that he heard within his new hearing aids in the same church he had stopped seeing. I lost track of his question within the new information that he was going to that church again. He looked at me as if I were mad because he had forgotten that he had stopped going, only with a knowing smile from his wife.