Can’t Hear in a Restaurant? Time to Get Your Hearing Checked

If you’re finding it hard to hear what your companions are saying in a restaurant or at a party, it’s time to get your hearing checked. The inability to hear speech in a noisy environment is one of the first signs of hearing loss, and although it may bother you only in certain situations, it’s not something to ignore. Hearing loss should not be dismissed as a natural sign of aging any more than high blood pressure or cholesterol would …

Elder Chic Now Includes Hearing Aids

When I got my first pair of glasses at age 6, they were big, clunky things that covered a third of my face and were heavy in the bargain. As soon as I was old enough, I traded them in for contact lenses. Nowadays, eyeglasses are not just stylish, they’re downright chic. Sophia Loren started the trend with a fabulous array of specs. Meryl Streep, who is 65, often wears glasses, but so do younger stars like Alicia Keys, 34, Jennifer Aniston, 46, and …

Should Police and Firefighters Be Allowed To Wear Hearing Aids?

When public safety and the protections of the Americans with Disabilities Act come into conflict, public safety prevails. But that doesn’t mean the ADA should be tossed aside. In fact, compliance with the ADA gives us a more effective police force. In a case that came to federal court in March in New York, two police officers who had been forcibly retired because they wore hearing aids were reinstated with back pay. The ruling covered all current police officers, and presumably all recruits as …

Cochlear Implants Shown to Reverse Cognitive Decline

New research finds that cochlear implants in older people not only help with hearing loss but may also improve thinking and memory. In a study published March 12, French researcher Isabelle Mosnier, of Assistance Publique-Hopitaux de Paris examined the effect of cochlear implants on elderly patients, ages 65 to 85, with profound hearing loss. The study, published in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, is important because it is the first to measure the effect of cochlear implants on memory and mental flexibility in elderly patients. Previous research has found older people with …

Tapping Into Help for Hearing Loss by Smartphone

I used to have perfect hearing, although I could select what I didn’t want to hear. But now that I’m getting older, I am becoming more concerned about my hearing. I am also a recent cancer survivor, truly thankful for every day that I wake up. One side effect of my chemo treatment is auditory nerve damage. I can still hear well enough so I don’t need a hearing aid. But it got me thinking: How do you hold a …

Hearing Loss? Denial Doesn’t Work. Trust Me.

En español | Boomers and beyond: It may be time to face up to the fact that you probably have hearing loss. An estimated 48 million Americans do, and 55 percent of them are under the age of 60. It’s easy to ignore, but your life will be much better if you don’t.  Like many people, I spent years — decades! — denying that my hearing loss was a problem. It came on suddenly and strongly, so I couldn’t deny its existence. But …