The Baltimore Sun reports that a growing number of 40- and 50- something baby boomers are experiencing
hearing loss; little surprise, given their penchant for loud music and high-decibel street protests. They're turning to
hearing aids for help, once seen as a clunky, unsightly symbol of old age.
According to the paper, a 2004 study by the Better Hearing Institute shows that more than 12 million people ages 45 to 64 are encountering hearing problems -- and that two-thirds of Americans with hearing loss are below retirement age. Another survey by the Ear Foundation projects that nearly half (49 percent) of baby boomers are having difficulty with their hearing. More than half report difficulty using cell phones because of hearing loss and 75 percent say they find themselves in situations where people are not talking loudly enough.
Bill Clinton, Phil Collins, Bono, Eric Clapton and Cher are among boomers the paper reports as having experienced hearing loss.