In his thirties my father had the hearing of a fifty year old man. He slowly lost his hearing and became profoundly deaf in his 60s. He had to retire early because his hearing aids could not give him the hearing he needed for his job. I have also been losing my hearing over the years starting in my early 40s. I now have a hearing aid that is much better than his, but my hearing is still not perfect. I often have to ask people to repeat themselves and to face my way so I can read their lips.
Hearing loss can be very exasperating for the hard-of-hearing person and the people with whom he communicates. Family and friends get tired of repeating everything, and for the person with a hearing loss, it sounds like everyone is mumbling.
Age-related hearing loss has been a problem for generations, but now noise-induced hearing loss is a growing problem. People who listen to music through ear buds in the high decibel range could lose their hearing many years before they should. A decibel is a unit used to measure the intensity of a sound which increases on a logarithmic scale. Listening to sounds greater than 85 decibels for extended periods of time can cause permanent hearing loss.
Young people today may have the option of cooler hearing aids (see below), but being hard of hearing is a permanent and frustrating state of being. Prevention is the best cure.