Don’t Take Hearing for Granted
Birds singing, wind rustling through the trees, music, and conversations with friends or loved ones are some of the sounds of everyday life and likely things taken for granted by those of us with normal hearing. My wife suffers from profound hearing loss, and even with the help of modern hearing aids, ordinary sounds will never sound the same again.
I count myself lucky to still experience good hearing at age 66, especially following a long career that included being around the noise of power equipment and traffic on a daily basis, and I enjoyed shooting sports over the years. Not only was I fortunate to work for a company that supplied hearing protection and tested my hearing annually, but I took preserving my hearing seriously outside of the work environment. I always used earplugs when target shooting and even at home when mowing the lawn or using a vacuum cleaner.
Exposure to sounds 85 decibels or greater (target shooting, power equipment, loud music, recreational vehicles, etc.) can damage the hair cells in the inner ear, resulting in acute hearing loss if exposure is great enough or gradually over time with repeated exposure. While hearing loss can occur at any age, it’s estimated one in three people 65-74 years of age and half of those 75 and older experience some degree of hearing loss.
It’s never too late to protect your hearing. Protection is as easy as inserting earplugs or putting on a pair of protective muffs, both of which can be obtained easily at local home improvement stores or online. Once you purchase hearing protection, use it! I always carry a set of earplugs in my pocket, and anytime I get concerned about a loud noise posing a threat to my hearing, I put them to good use.
As we age, it’s important to continue to protect our hearing, but what about our children, grandchildren, and friends? Hearing damage is cumulative, and it’s never too early to protect the gift of hearing. We can set a good example for those close to us and encourage them to conserve one of the greatest blessings in life.
We live a very social life here in SaddleBrooke. What would it be like to attend a lecture, meeting, concert, or even dinner with friends if we couldn’t hear? Loss of hearing leads to avoidance of social activities and even cognitive decline. Don’t take hearing for granted. Protect it!
If you are interested in learning more about hearing loss, are currently experiencing hearing loss, or want to assist a loved one, please come to one of the monthly SaddleBrooke Discussion Group for Better Hearing meetings. The meetings are hybrid and meet in person and on Zoom. The meetings are held the second Friday of each month from 10 to 11 a.m. in SaddleBrooke TWO’s MountainView Sonoran Room. If you prefer to participate via Zoom or have other questions, contact Jennifer Jefferis at [email protected] or 360-909-6212, or Lyle Larson at [email protected] or 360-910-5691.
Hearing Loss: There Is Hope and Support
The Discussion Group for Better Hearing is pleased to offer a special, in-person presentation for our SaddleBrooke community on Wednesday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m. in the SaddleBrooke TWO MountainView Ballroom. Please join us to learn about Cochlear implants and hearing loss solutions. A Q&A session will follow this Hearing Night Out presentation.
Our speaker, Javier Cosentino, MA, is a bilingual engagement manager with Cochlear, and he explains his background for this important work. “I was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. After completing my schooling, I spent six years doing humanitarian work in several countries. I moved to the U.S. working as a counselor supporting families with children affected by hearing loss. In 2015, I was fortunate to join Cochlear. My role fits very well with my passion for educating and helping others and spreading awareness about hearing loss and solutions. Cochlear has helped to improve the hearing of over 450,000 people worldwide.”
Meetings for The Discussion Group for Better Hearing are now hybrid (Zoom and in person) and gather the second Friday monthly, from 10 to 11 a.m. in SaddleBrooke TWO MountainView Sonoran Room and via Zoom. For questions and/or Zoom sign-ups, contact Jennifer Jefferis at [email protected] or 360-909-6212, Lyle Larson at [email protected] or 360-910-5691, or Dick Kroese at [email protected] or 520-204-0968.