Hearing loss already affects a third of seniors over age 65, and that number is expected to grow as our population ages.
Even so, only about 60% of the seniors who need hearing aids actually wear one, often because they're embarrassed or too proud to admit that they can't hear like they used to. That's according to researchers at the University of Florida who say that a lot of seniors even hide their hearing loss from their doctors, or they say they have a little problem, but not enough to need a hearing aid.
If any of that sounds familiar at your house, Dr. Patricia Kricos wants that group of seniors to hear this.
"There is a risky implication, that's that many older adults, as they get older, they lose the joy of life. They may feel slightly depressed. They may feel anxious, and they might frustrate a little more easily -- but they don't realize that might be due to hearing loss," says Dr. Patricia Kricos, audiologist, University of Florida.
Dr. Kricos says hearing loss can quickly isolate a person from friends and family, and that isolation has also been linked to a rapid decline in phpysical health. So if there's someone in your family who would benefit from some hearing help, she says you might make it your new year's resolution to make sure they hear about what's new and better today -- to improve hearing.