Hearing loss is practically a daily occurrence in members of the Greatest Generation. But for many members of Generation X, hearing loss is just as real—and carries its own particular difficulties.
Approximately eight percent of Americans between the ages of 32 and 50 suffer from a significant degree of hearing loss, with symptoms starting as early as age 19. While the most common cause is abnormal bone growth in the ear (otosclerosis), people in their twenties and thirties have also suffered early-onset hearing loss due to high blood pressure, diabetes, and exposure to loud noise levels.
Hearing Loss Can Have a Major Impact on Young Adult Life
Hearing loss manifests itself differently in patients who have not yet matured into middle age. Patients are forced to cope with a communication problem during a major point of stress in their lives, which can typically include:
- A new job. College graduates have it harder than ever when competing for jobs in their fields, so applicants with hearing loss are unlikely to disclose their conditions to potential employers. While it is illegal for hiring managers to discriminate against people with disabilities, applicants may not consider themselves disabled—and employers may be unwilling to accommodate specialized hearing needs.
- Parenting. It is especially vital for new parents with hearing loss to find proper treatment, as their condition could potentially put a child at risk. A hearing aid will not only improve safety, it may be the only way for fathers and mothers to experience their child’s laughter and first words.
- Education. Adults considering advanced degrees can be placed at a major disadvantage if their hearing loss is uncorrected. Although classrooms have more and more integrated technology, these systems may not be available unless they are requested—and many adults do not want to be singled out or endure special consideration.
- Careers. The use of hearing aids can influence a wearer’s career choice, since many devices have a problem processing high-frequency sounds. The good news is that employees with hearing aids are more likely to remain employed throughout their lives, increasing their earning potential through full retirement age (and sometimes longer, as they will not be forced into retirement by the hearing problems befalling older adults).
- Mental health. Hearing aids have long been associated with easing depression and isolation in older adults, but they may have an even bigger impact on younger adults. Social engagement is vital to adults looking to advance their careers, meet future partners, and forge lasting friendships—all of which are key activities to college-aged adults.
One piece of good news is that younger people have fewer reservations about getting hearing aids to correct their conditions. The earlier your hearing loss is diagnosed, the more likely it is that the remainder of your hearing ability can be saved. Call us at 866-517-4415 to set up a hearing testing appointment, or stop by one of our Florida locations today!