Here’s a clue!
Can you hear me now? Apparently many cannot. Hearing loss is reaching epidemic proportions— and not just among people who play their music too loud! According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 36 million Americans already have some degree of hearing loss, and with 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 each day, that number is expected to skyrocket. Experts predict that hearing loss will affect 78 million Americans by the year 2030. Hearing loss is a critical public health issue!
Listen up! To kick off May, a new Hearing Loss Campaign will begin April 16th which will encourage us all to get our hearing tested, and feature Sting and renowned trumpeter and song writer Chris Botti (both of whom know first-hand about the importance of hearing health) in a very special Public Service Announcement. The Campaign is spearheaded by the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary (a world leader in the diagnosis and treatment of ear disorders) and will launch live, an educational website designed as a one-stop resource to help all adults take control of the hearing health (www.iLikeMyHearing.org) and a new Facebook site (fb.com/iLikeMyHearing) featuring a page for people to contribute their favorite sounds. Visitors can enter a “Favorite Sounds Sweepstakes” with a $5000 value opportunity for the winner and ten friends to share dinner with Chris Botti at a November 15th fundraising gala.
Inside our ears lie thousands of hairlike cells that turn sound waves into electrical signals so the brain can interpret what we hear. But very loud noise generates free radicals that damage those cells—sometimes permanently. Hear us out … we all expect to go a little bit deaf when we get older. But in this era of ubiquitous bluetooths and iPods, MP3 players and the close-to-the-eardrum earbud headphones as standard equipment, we are all living in a loud world — and hearing loss is starting younger than ever before. Get the facts and tips for hearing loss prevention and learn about the campaign with renowned hearing specialist, Dr. Ronald A. Hoffman:
▪ Keep your earplugs or other hearing protection devices handy and stay alert to hazardous noises that might pop up suddenly in your environment.
▪ Don’t smoke-Smoke and even second-hand smoke can affect your hearing. Control allergies that may lead to ear infections.
▪ Keep the volume down on your music, TV, video games and other electronics, especially your personal listening devices.
▪ Wear noise-canceling headphones to drown out background noises instead of turning the volume up on your personal listening devices.
RONALD A. HOFFMAN is the Director of the Ear Institute, Co-Director of the Cochlear Implant Center and The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary and a Professor of Otolaryngology at the New York Medical College. Doctor Hoffman received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and earned a Masters Degree in Health Care Management from the Harvard School of Public Health. He has published extensively on diseases of the ear and has been recognized by New York magazine in its “Best Doctors” issue.