How Hearing Loss Affects Alabama’s Senior Population

As the 22nd state to join the Union, Alabama is one of the nation’s most historical states,with strong ties to the American Civil War, Civil Rights Movement, and Industrial Revolution.   It was on the backs of our forefathers, and our parents, and Alabama’s current senior citizens that this great state was shaped into what it is today.

Currently, when most think of the “The Yellow Hammer State”, the first thing that comes to mind are colossal space ships launching from The US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, miles of gorgeous Gulf Coast beaches, or the Robert Trench Jones Golf Trail.  However, for those who call Alabama home, there is so much more that this magnificent state has to offer.  Perhaps one of Alabama’s best kept secrets is its eclectic music scene.  Lynyrd Skynyrd might have put Alabama on the map, but if the 21st century has proven anything, it’s that Alabama’s music scene has blossomed from the 70’s, and is now more alive than ever.

Unfortunately, for those seniors who love music and wish to enjoy live shows and concerts such as Blue Grass on the Plains, The Hangout Music Festival, and The W.C. Handy Music Festival, even the slightest loss of hearing can ruin the experience.  Furthermore, with live football engrained in southern culture, and with a long history of collegiate national champions such as The Alabama Crimson Tide and Auburn Tigers, hearing loss can deter seniors from wanting to attend tailgates with family and friends, or even buying tickets to the game altogether.  Additionally, hearing loss can impact seniors lives in the following ways:

  • Loss of communication
  • Withdrawal from social life
  • Mental health – depression and anxiety
  • Cognitive decline such as dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

Unfortunately, most primary care physicians do not require mandatory hearing exams as part of their regular checkup, even for seniors, the age demographic most susceptible to hearing loss.  As an older adult or even someone who cares for an older adult, it’s important that you get your hearing checked regularly.  Here is a list of audiologists in Birmingham, Alabama.

Remember that you the loss of hearing is nothing to be ashamed of.   According to NIH Senior Health, approximately one-third of seniors age 65-74 suffer some form of hearing loss.  The most important thing you can do is to admit that this may be happening to you, and seek immediate medical help before the problem gets out of hand.  With advancements in hearing aids and cochlear implants, the potential to recover hearing capabilities, even in severe situations, is very realistic.

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