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What You Can’t Hear Can Hurt You

Of all the reasons millions of Americans living with untreated hearing loss should consider hearing aids for their impairment, safety is at the top of the list, says Dr. Cindy Beyer, audiologist and senior vice president of HearUSA, one of America's largest hearing care and hearing aid companies.

Studies have linked untreated hearing loss to reduced alertness and increased risk to personal safety. However, although 95 percent of people with hearing loss can benefit from hearing aids, three out of four of the 36 million Americans living with hearing loss do not have them.

Dr. Beyer lists some sounds you may not be able to hear that can hurt you:

  • The car about to pass you on the right
  • The alert from your passenger that you didn't hear or understand
  • The clicking of your turn signals that are still flashing and dangerously confusing other drivers
  • An approaching vehicle as you cross the street or walk in a parking lot
  • The smoke alarm in your home
  • The phone ringing (it could be an emergency)
  • A child crying out in pain or distress
  • In an emergency, the inability to communicate with the 911 operator
  • Someone ringing the bell and pounding on your door
  • In the workplace, especially when working around machinery
  • Not being able to fully participate in workplace safety training sessions
  • Putting your health in jeopardy when your hearing loss prevents you from fully understanding a physician's instructions

While one in 10 Americans has hearing loss, it is older men and women who are much more likely to suffer from this life altering condition. According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly one in three adults ages 65 to 74 and almost half of all adults 75 years old or older have a hearing impairment.

Need more sobering facts about hearing problems? The failure to hear smoke detectors and take quick action is the major reason adults 65 or older are more than twice as likely as any other age group to die in a home fire.

In his article, "Is Your Child Safe When Grandpa Can't Hear?," Dr. Sergei Kochkin, executive director of the Better Hearing Institute, writes, "The first step in assuring that grandparents or other caregivers can safely take care of your children is to ask them to get their hearing checked"…

"For your own safety, and for the safety of your family, friends and co-workers, taking a few minutes for a hearing-loss screening can pay enormous dividends," said Dr. Beyer.

About HearUSA. HearUSA is the recognized leader in hearing care for the nation's top managed care organizations through its more than 180 company-owned centers and network of more than 2,000 hearing care providers. HearUSA is the nation's only hearing care network accredited by URAC, an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation. The company is also the administrator of the AARP Hearing Care program, designed to help millions of Americans aged 50+ who have hearing loss. To locate a HearUSA Hearing Care Network provider and to schedule an appointment for a hearing screening, call 1-800-333-3389 or go to