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Grandparents, grandkids benefit from better hearing

Published On: Jan 24 2012 12:39:43 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 09 2014 01:41:58 PM CST

(NewsUSA) - Grandparents and grandchildren have much to learn from one another, and such valuable relationships should be cultivated. Oxford University research has shown that 'involved' grandparents contribute significantly to better-adjusted grandchildren.

The research suggests that children find unique acceptance in their relationships with grandparents, which benefits them emotionally and mentally. The grandparental bond is built on communication. In fact, most children studied did not identify distance as an important factor if communication was strong.

Unfortunately, hearing loss is the number-one challenge to communication. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), age and hearing loss are strongly related -- 30 percent of seniors from 65 to 74 years old suffer from a hearing disability. For adults 75 years of age or older, hearing loss jumps to 47 percent.

"It doesn't take a PhD for my patients to understand the many costs of hearing loss," says Sreek Cherukuri, MD, a certified ear, nose and throat physician based in Chicago.

Beyond emotional well-being, even something simple like taking the grandkids to the pool can turn dangerous if grandma can't hear possible cries for help. Driving puts the children at risk if the grandparents cannot hear oncoming traffic or car horns.

The NIDCD reports that only one out of every five people who needs a hearing aid actually wears one. This is largely due to the extravagant cost of most hearing aids.

"I found that I saw too many patients with hearing loss going home without a solution because they couldn't afford hearing aid prices," says Dr. Cherukuri.

Cherukuri's response was to develop inexpensive but effective hearing aids. "With today's technology, a quality hearing aid shouldn't cost more than a digital camera or iPod," Cherukuri says.

"You should see a physician and get the best hearing aid you can afford. We offer an excellent choice for those who cannot afford a custom hearing aid." Seniors should enjoy the benefits of their ripe age. This includes plenty of quality time with grandchildren.