According to a new poll, 99 million U.S. adults over the age of 50 have untreated hearing loss. Almost half the respondents in an AARP/American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) National Poll on Hearing Health reported having untreated hearing health issues.
The partnership between the AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired People) and the ASHA was created to highlight the need for human communication, specifically among older people.
The poll outlines the state of hearing among the Baby Boomer generation and centers on their attitudes towards seeking help for their hearing loss, the needs they have for hearing help, and their knowledge of where to go for help.
They also touched on hearing loss enablers and barriers, real or perceived, to getting the assistence they need.
The hearing issues in older adults can lead to a variety of other physical, mental, and social problems which can include depression, social isolation, difficulty maintaining relationships with family and friends, difficulties keeping up with conversations during family gatherings and more.
The good news is that help is available.
The ASHA wants families to break through the silence and have open, honest discussions about untreated hearing loss with their older family members.
Speak Up About Hearing Loss is ASHA’s broadcast public service announcement (PSA) campaign which hones in on several key findings from their poll.
The key findings include:
- 50 percent of respondents in this poll said they would be more likely to seek hearing help if their grandchildren asked them to.
- Nearly 70 percent would seek treatment if any loved one asked them to.
- 57 percent of those with untreated hearing problems say their problems are not serious enough for treatment and are easy enough to “cover up.”
- Nearly 75 percent of respondents reported that finding a provider with a high level of training in hearing difficulties is critically important to them if they were to seek professional help.