Whether you’re 45 or 75, you could very well be part of the growing segment of the population that’s experiencing listening difficulty in certain situations.
Over 45% of US adults online struggle communicating in one or more listening situations, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. And that doesn’t mean they all need hearing aids, but it does mean that they might have a hard time hearing their dinner companions in a noisy restaurant, the dialog in their favorite TV show, or their partners while strolling in the park on a lovely spring day.
Listen to this short tape of Geri, FOFounder, talking to her friends
at a noisy restaurant. Then answer the five questions about
what she said, to help determine how well you hear.
Scroll down to the very end of the article when
you’re ready to check your answers!
If you had a hard time making out Geri’s conversation, and guessed most of the answers to our little quiz, the following article is a must-read.
But even if you passed with flying colors, chances are you know someone who wouldn’t. So please read it anyway, then share it with them.
If You Knew Susie
Marge tells the story of her 60-something best friend, Susie, who, after listening to the waiter reel off the dinner specials in a crowded restaurant, announced, “I’ll have the roast chicken.” Roast chicken, however, was not one of the specials. Susie was having an especially hard time hearing that evening, above the hubbub, so she reacted as she often did lately in situations such as that. She pretended she understood the waiter and assumed chicken would surely be on the menu.
After straightening out her order, Susie didn’t participate much in the dinner conversation with Marge and their other friends, like she used to, which was painfully obvious to everyone, since she’s the most gregarious member of the group. “It also was becoming harder to involve Susie in the discussion, because we’d all have to sit around the table shouting,” Marge sighed.
Marge reports that Susie’s even taken to turning down many of her dinner invitations, if she knows they’re going to a busy restaurant. “It seems like she’d rather miss doing something she enjoys then see if she can improve the quality of her hearing,” Marge laments. “When I subtly tried to bring it up, Susie told me she hears ‘just fine.’ She definitely wouldn’t think of a hearing aid as a must-have accessory.”
Susie Definitely Is Not Alone!
Consider the statistics:
What Susie Can Do
It may be natural to assume that listening challenges are “normal” in a bustling restaurant, but this difficulty can be a sign of hearing changes that started years before. Women who struggle in these situations say they’re less satisfied with their ability to handle problems, as well as with their friendships. They also report poorer overall health and quality of life than women who reported no listening or communication difficulties, according to the National Academy On An Aging Society.
We know how Susie would answer the following question, but how would YOU answer it?
You’re out for dinner at a trendy restaurant with a group of friends. Do you:
Enjoy your meal, your conversation and your companions to the fullest.
Feel a level of frustration about the noise, struggle to follow the conversation or ask for frequent repetition.
Feel left out of the conversation and just try to laugh when everyone else does.
If you did well on our quiz at the top of this article, you probably answered A. This means your hearing and communication skills are likely in great shape. Talk with your physician, however, if you notice any sudden changes.
If you didn’t do well on our quiz, you might have answered C. In this case, you’re likely experiencing enough of a change to your hearing that it’s already affecting your general sense of well-being and quality of life. Talk to your physician and seek evaluation by a qualified audiologist.
Don’t miss the conversation.
Answers To Quiz At Top
Her son’s wedding • Freezing • A restaurant • Best friend • Guitar
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