I’m surprised at the age difference among readers of this blog. 20% are Millennials and I’m glad they’re with me, but as I often discuss topics about aging, I’m curious to know why they follow me. Millennials are a savvy generation, forward in their thinking and active in solving social issues. Maybe they read my blogs for a glimpse of their futures — if they’re lucky enough to reach a healthy old age. If so, they will want to read on. If not, they should switch to Pandora and listen to some music because today, I’m going to share advice about hearing loss, something that might interest the Baby Boomers who’ve impaired their hearing at one too many Grateful Dead concerts.
I’m not a Boomer so I can’t blame my hearing loss on loud music, though I do listen to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony or Tchaikovsky’s Overture of 1812 on occasion. I’m hard of hearing because I’m old. My doctor looks chagrined because I have only one hearing aid. She insists two would help me maintain the brain’s stereo system. But what really sets her teeth on edge is that I wear the one hardly at all. How does she know? Because that little sucker keeps an electronic record of the times I wear it. Drats! Who knew? Even the NSA hasn’t gleaned that much about me.
Needless to say, my record, or lack of it, provoked my doctor into delivering a lecture the other day. I admit, I left the office chastened. As one newly converted, I’m eager to spread my knowledge. So, listen up Boomers and precocious Millennials, never ignore a hearing loss. The sooner you deal with it, the better. Wearing an aid won’t make you stand out. Look around you. Everyone’s wired with ear buds. For all they know, you’re wearing yours to stream Metallica on Blue tooth. You can do that with the latest hearing devices, by the way.
And here’s something else to consider: Ignore your hearing and you may lose more than the ability to distinguish sounds; you may lose a few friends. People don’t like repeating themselves. The choice is to tune in or drop out. If you choose the latter, get used to being a party of one.