Hearing Loss

November 1, 2022
Robert C. Alley, MD
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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.