If you can't hear what's going on, your mobility could be affected. Here are some points to consider if you think your hearing might not be as good as it used to be.
Strangely enough, hearing loss is a growing problem due to the fact that we are tending to live longer! Add to that the world is now a noisier place - traffic, television and aircraft noise pollution being some of the major culprits - and hearing loss becomes an even more acute issue. In fact, its been estimated that in twenty years time no less than one in five people in the Western World could have hearing problems.
Although not directly related to lack of mobility, hearing impairment can affect a person's confidence when performing a simple action such as crossing the road. After all, if you can't hear that car coming . . .
Hearing loss is usually a very gradual process but its effects can be significant on the level of sheer quality of life. The sufferer suddenly realises that they can't hear the birds singing anymore, music doesn't sound right and they are always saying ‘what?’ when talking to people. The truth is that their hearing has been getting poorer for years - it's usually just one major event that makes them realise that they have a problem.
Another problem associated with hearing loss is a social one. While most people accept that they may someday need spectacles or contact lenses to see more clearly - after all, eye problems occur at any age - many shy away from the fact that they may need a hearing aid. It's because hearing aids are associated with old, infirm people and by wearing one the sufferer may feel that they've suddenly become ‘old’ overnight. Yet the benefits of clear hearing vastly outweigh any disadvantages that may be perceived about wearing a hearing aid.
So what effects can improved hearing have on mobility? The greatest is safety. In any situation involving movement, either of the person concerned or other objects - vehicles in particular - good hearing almost equals good sight in promoting personal safety and some would argue that it's even more essential. People who can hear properly are more confident in their surroundings and in the way they move and interact with others - so why the resistance to aids to hearing?
Maybe it has something to do with that big plastic box with the twisty wire leading to a highly visible earpiece that you Grandma wore. You remember? They always used to whistle like an express train and were highly visible. Well, forget them. With new digital models, it's like comparing a wind-up gramophone with a modern MP3 player. Modern hearing aids fit discreetly within the ear, some even within the ear canal itself. Unless you tell people that you are wearing one, the chances are that they will never know!
As with any decision that may have an effect on your well-being and health, it's always advisable to consult a physician before deciding on a course of action. Also, prices for modern hearing aids vary widely, so be sure to do some research before making a purchase. Whatever the price - if crystal clear hearing is the result, it's money well spent.
Steve Dempster writes fiction, copy and informative articles such as the one above. For more information on mobility issues, take a look at Electric Mobility World