Progression of Hearing Loss & Solutions
Although hearing loss can be experienced at any age, pop culture during your generation can often be a determining factor in the reasons of your auditory issues.
The Greatest Generation
Those born in the first part of the 20th century faced a number of world events that impacted their hearing. Many experienced noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) as a result of serving in World War II or working in loud factories.
Furthermore, recent hearing loss for people in this generation may be attributed to presbycusis, a common type of sensorineural hearing loss due to natural aging.
Ironically, this generation also saw the first development of hearing devices. A pocket-sized unit featuring batteries, amplifier and microphone was created in the early 1940s.
Baby Boomers’ hearing issues could stem from experimenting with psychedelic drugs or listening to loud rock music. Vietnam veterans often experience tinnitus, a ringing in the ear. There is no cure for tinnitus, although some medication may lessen its symptoms.
Bell Telephone Laboratories’ invention of the transistor radio in 1948 represented a cornerstone in hearing aid technology. Devices created in the following years featured adjustable volume controls and fit entirely in the ear or behind it.
Generation X members were exposed to loud music on a regular basis with portable cassette and CD players. Research also started showing links between hearing loss and heart health, obesity and diabetes.
Hearing aids improved in the 1980s with the introduction of digital signal processing technology.
This generation’s dependence on electronic devices – and the earbuds plugged into them – puts its members’ hearing health in question. Parents are becoming more aware of the long-term repercussions of high volume on young ears, but it is difficult to monitor on a consistent basis.
Today’s digital hearing aids use “smart” technology to adjust to the surrounding environment and the needs of the user without their prompting.