Hearing loss is a common disorder that has a significant impact on quality of life. Its prevalence increases with age, with the vast majority occurring in older adults. Age related hearing loss, or presbycusis, is a common cause. Hearing loss is associated with higher rates of depression and dementia, resulting in decreased quality of life. This physician found out the hard way.
I knew that at the age of sixty, I had developed some hearing loss. My plan was to get my hearing tested only after my wife got tired of repeating herself; however, the pandemic fortuitously upset my well-made plans. As people started wearing masks, I could no longer read their lips. Furthermore, their voices were muffled. My ability to communicate with my staff deteriorated to the point that I found myself isolating in my office. Thus, I finally mustered up the courage to get my hearing tested. I was found to have moderate to severe hearing loss in both ears. Two weeks later, I received my hearing aids, and my quality of life immediately improved. I had no idea how much of life I was missing. Not only did my communication improve, but I was made aware of the constant chatter ongoing between the birds when I’m outside. I had been missing out on many of the simple pleasures of life.
The lesson here is: Don’t let your pride get in the way as mine did. If your hearing is declining, then get your hearing tested. The consequences of hearing loss can be devastating.