By: Simon Hammond | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: June 2008
The ion400 is virtually invisible.
Although people often associate hearing loss with the aging process, prolonged exposure to loud noise is a far more common cause of the condition. In America, around one in six baby boomers have hearing loss. There are actually more people aged 45 to 64 with hearing loss than those over 65. And the reality is that more people are losing their hearing earlier in life.
Baby boomers are likely candidates for noise-induced hearing loss, particularly the kind that results from continuous loud noise over an extended period of time (like a 115-decibel rock concert). Factory noise, home power tools, lawn mowers and the roar of construction sites are also be to blame.
“They’re the first of that rock ’n’ roll and Do-it-Yourself generation,” explains audiologist Lisa McGraw from NuSound-HEARINGLife, “The first to really grow up with loud music, personal stereo systems and ready access to power tools.”
The realization that your hearing is no longer sharp can provoke feelings of anxiety about age. Ironically, many people worry that wearing hearing aids will lead to them being perceived as old. However, the symptoms of hearing loss – mishearing people, frustration, feelings of isolation and withdrawing from difficult situations – are more likely to promote the perception that someone is old.
This reluctance has motivated hearing aid manufacturers to develop devices to attract age-phobic, style-conscious baby boomers. For example, Sonic Innovations has just released the virtually invisible ion400.
“Whenever I’ve referred to my hearing aids, people say to me, ‘Oh, are you actually wearing hearing aids?’” explains ion400 customer Owen Jacobsen.
The ion400 is powerful and provides a natural sound quality that was previously impossible with traditional hearing aids. As it leaves the ear canal unobstructed, wearers do not suffer from the feeling of being “blocked up.”
It also instantly adjusts to changing hearing environments to provide the best possible hearing outcome. Wearers can be reading at home, then head off to a busy shopping center, watch a movie and answer their telephone during the course of a day, without ever having to think about, or adjust, their hearing aids.
Darryl Cockburn is amazed by the changes his hearing aid has made to his life and how others have reacted to his improved hearing — he only wishes he had done something sooner.
“The other day I was at a birthday party for one of my grandkids, and I could hear everything she was saying — both good and bad,” he remarks with a chuckle. “She was saying, ‘Pop, you have new ears!’ And I guess I really do in that situation.”
Research has revealed the costs of hearing loss are significant. Hearing loss has been linked to short-term memory loss, fatigue, anxiety, depression, even lower income – on average, up to $11,000 a year less than for their peers who use hearing aids.
For a short time, NuSound-HEARINGLife is offering free trials of the ion400 hearing aid at their Bartlesville, Broken Arrow and Tulsa locations. Call (918) 451-7020 to reserve your place.