11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun  1. Doctors and health officials are discouraging a revival of “measles parties,” popular in the 1950s and ’60s. (Learn more at ABC News) 2. The release of water vapor causes the distinctive sound of corn popping.  (Learn more at Los Angeles Times) 3. A 1967 performance on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour left Pete Townsend deaf in one ear. (Learn more at AARP) >> Register for Life@50+ Digital Experience. New AARP RealPad included! Learn More 4. …

Famous Rock Concerts That Blew Minds — and Ears

Were you at the Cream reunion in New York in 1968? Think that might be where you lost your hearing? That’s where Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker say their hearing problems started. Clapton, who now suffers tinnitus — and most likely also hearing loss, which is often masked by tinnitus — has said, “I probably had two 100-watt stacks at the height of things and I would turn one on for guitar solos. It was just mad.” Baker, a band member, said of …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, wrote about the same characters in an earlier book, which will be published in 2015. (Learn more at AARP) 2. Some common medications might be connected with a higher risk of dementia. (Learn more at AARP) 3. “Light” jogging helps you live longer, while running strenuously might not be better than no exercise at all. (Learn more at Discovery) 4. People over 65 might need a little less sleep than …

A Cure for Hearing Loss?

En español | All you boomers who listened to too much rock ’n’ roll may eventually get back your hearing by popping a pill. Researchers are closing in on a way to reverse sensorineural loss, the most common cause of hearing loss. Just as important, pharmaceutical companies are putting big money into the effort. Garnering the most publicity so far is a clinical trial of an injectable drug backed by the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis. Given that 48 million Americans have some degree of …

When Noise Is Painful

Even if I’d known that the Broadway production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time would, in Ben Brantley’s words, push all my “emotional and sensory buttons,” I wouldn’t have been prepared for the experience. I was stunned by the brilliance of the production. But I was also stunned by how familiar — and how literally painful — I found the play’s depiction of high-functioning autism, or Asperger’s syndrome. This production may come as close as possible to …

Talking About Hearing Loss to Someone Who Doesn’t Want to Listen

En español l The one question I am asked more than any other is: “How do I talk to my spouse about hearing loss?” Every time I try to bring up the subject, they say, the spouse brushes it off. “I can hear fine,” is the impatient reply. Or, “It’s because you mumble.” Or, “It’s too loud in this restaurant.” Or — and this is the most frustrating — “Maybe I do, but it doesn’t bother me.” “Well, it bothers …