As teenagers, baby boomers liked loud music, loud Rock & Roll music. Whether listening to a live band, the radio or a record player, the volume was turned all the way up. Boomers blasted their Rock & Roll music. Now in our late 50s and 60s, many boomers are paying the price for loud music of their youth. Today, over half of this country’s 76 million baby boomers are dealing with varying degrees of hearing loss and the noisy lifestyle they have led could be the cause.
According to Parentgiving.com, a recent EAR Foundation and Clarity® study ‘probing the occurrence, cause and impact of hearing loss in baby boomers’ found nearly half of this country’s 76 million boomers, roughly 38 million, are experiencing some degree of hearing loss. The study further revealed most baby boomers are not addressing the problem and are not seeking help. Only one in three has had their hearing tested.
The baby boomer generation is the first to grow up with Rock & Roll music and the first to experience hearing loss so early in their lives. The Rock & Roll days of a boomer’s youth tops the list of the reasons causing this generation’s grapple with hearing loss. In addition, listening to those Walkmans and MP3s in their younger years, usually at a high volume, also contributed to a boomer’s contemporary diminished hearing. The loud music in bars many boomers frequented in their younger years didn’t help either.
While much of their hearing loss is attributed to loud music, the boomer generation is also the first to live with gas powered lawn mowers, traffic gridlock, chain saws, loud rock concerts and other hearing threats, reports Seniorchoicehearing.com. So a lifetime of noise pollution is credited for their loss of hearing.
Most boomers blame their hearing loss on exposure to noise. The study found 51 percent attributed their hearing loss to “noise pollution, either on the job, through recreational activities and exposure to loud noise like construction equipment, rock concerts, jet planes, automobile engines or even lawn equipment.”
The study disclosed that hearing difficulties often create obstacles at home, at work and in social situations, which all impact a boomer’s normal routine. Almost half of the boomers reporting hearing difficulties said they were most affected by the loss at home or when socializing. Others experienced problems understanding telephone conversations, being misunderstood and feeling isolated.
Baby boomers who notice they don’t hear as well as they once did must first acknowledge that, as we get older our hearing diminishes. But if the loss is significant and negatively impacts your every daily functioning and lifestyle, then experts recommend getting an audiology test. According to Clarity®, there are a number of hearing devices available to enhance your hearing, like modernized hearing aids, amplified phones and advanced listening devices.
Thirty-eight million baby boomers already suffer from some degree of hearing loss and, with 10,000 boomers turning 65 every day, hearing loss in the boomer generation is expected to soar. While baby boomers are paying the price for their beloved loud Rock & Roll music, they are also paying the price for a lifetime of noise pollution.