Baby Boomers and Hearing Loss: A Guide to Prevention and Care

Baby Boomers and Hearing Loss: A Guide to Prevention and Care

Baby Boomers and Hearing Loss: A Guide to Prevention and Care

Baby Boomers and Hearing Loss: A Guide to Prevention and Care


In Baby Boomers and Hearing Loss, audiologist John Burkey shows readers how they can continue to enjoy youthful living, regardless of whether their hearing abilities are undiminished or severely compromised. In a reassuring and straightforward style, Burkey explains the typical causes of hearing loss, from genetic factors to years of exposure to loud noises, and demystifies the sometimes confusing results of a hearing test. Fortunately, new technologies and advances in medicine have made it easier to detect signs of initial hearing loss and to prevent it from becoming a serious problem.

For those who have already sustained some damage, the author suggests ways to manage daily activities by using a range of techniques, equipment, and medical procedures. His suggestions include minor changes, such as using a vibrating alarm clock rather than one that is sound-based. More dramatic but often highly effective options, including reconstructive surgery, cochlear implants, and bone-anchored hearing aids, are also described.

In his previous award-winning book, Overcoming Hearing Aid Fears: The Road to Better Hearing, Burkey addressed common fears, concerns, and misconceptions that people have about choosing and using hearing aids. In this second indispensable volume, he offers a comprehensive guide on how to cope with and prevent hearing impairment. For a generation that refuses to slow down or quietly accept limitations, this book is essential reading.


A decrease in hearing as we age is nothing new. But hearing loss has never met such a fearsome opponent as the typical babyboomer who works hard on the job with no immediate plans for retirement, smashes overheads on the tennis court after work, attends rock concerts on Saturday evenings, shops for the latest cellular phone, and plans to upgrade from VHS tape to TiVo any day now. Of course, hearing is essential for all of these activities.

If we are concerned about maintaining a youthful quality of life, keeping our senses sharp, particularly our hearing, is key. This book explains how to determine whether you are hearing as well as you should. It explains the medical, surgical, and technological interventions that are available now to correct or compensate for hearing loss. And if your sense of sound is still 100 percent, the book suggests how to keep it that way. Because many forms of hearing loss cannot be reversed, recognizing potential causes and avoiding them is the best medicine. Furthermore, the quality, scope, and availability of future auditory care will be the direct result of decisions made today. You may wish to support or promote hearing-related programs or legislation, explained in later chapters, from which you could benefit.

Hearing well now is no guarantee of hearing well in the future, especially because the likelihood of hearing loss increases with age. Compared with previous generations, baby boomers face an increased risk of hearing loss and a greater need to preserve their sense of sound.

First, baby boomers are expected to live longer than previous generations and the likelihood of hearing loss is directly related to aging. In 1900, when the average life expectancy was forty-seven years, age related hearing loss was not a serious problem. But babyboomers, that is, those born between 1946 and 1964, have an average life expectancy . . .

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