Let’s get down to it: untreated hearing loss and untreated vision loss will cause a person to be less engaged, less connected, less alive, less content. One of our frequent themes here at the Big 65:
If you are not growing, you are dying!
A few years ago, after much nagging from my family, I finally agreed to have my hearing tested. The result? Shock of shocks, I had hearing loss, I couldn’t hear the high-pitched tones, including my wife.
My response: I got hearing aids, the second-best decision I have ever made (marrying my wife being the best).
The benefits were instantaneous: I could hear birds sing, my family stopped having to repeat themselves constantly, I was immediately sharper and more productive, I could hear at parties. Everyone was happier, especially me!
According to my Audiologist, Dr. Brock Sturlaugson at Hearing Rehab Solutions, most people wait years and years to have their hearing tested, long after they’ve been experiencing
problems. Why do people wait?
Well for me it was pride. No one wants to admit they are getting older. The good news is the devices are smaller, less noticeable and more powerful than ever. Some days, when I wear practically invisible hearing aids and put in my contact lenses, I feel like the six-million-dollar man!
This article in the New York Times discusses the link between cognitive decline, hearing and vision loss. While the link is not perfectly linear, one thing is certain: the more connected we remain to family, community and life, the more content we are.
Even better news, some of the Medicare related health plans I work with are beginning to offer hearing benefits. If you think you or a loved one is asking those around to repeat themselves too often, or if feel you are disengaging, it may be time to check your eyes and your ears.
So, go it do now! Think of it as a gift for the people you love.
It’ll cost you money and you may have to swallow your pride.
But, when you hear the birds singing in the back yard while you sip your coffee and marvel at the brilliant light in a morning sunrise, you’ll be damn glad you did, and so will those who love you!
And to all the audiologists in the world…thanks!
Karl Bruns-Kyler is a Certified Senior Advisor, a licensed insurance agent focused on Medicare Coverage who helps consumers shop for coverage.