Chances are that you are a mortal human being, therefore you are aging. And it's a fact that ears tend to lose portions of the sound spectrum as they age. Catching the exact content of a conversation or listening to TV becomes slightly harder as the years pass. But this is not necessarily a cause for despair or discouragement. There are many solutions to hearing loss as well as many opportunities to prevent it. Think about your ears for a moment.

About ten million Americans report hearing loss. Most of them are over the age of sixty five. When a person reaches seventy five, almost half will admit to hearing loss. There can be personal personal and social effects such as job loss, reduced social participation, depression and isolation. But, again, this can be preceded with a little pro-active action. A person can wear ear protection on the job or in the garage when cutting sheet metal with a saw. You can turn down the pod to a lower volume. We are always warned to wear eye protection around power equipment and tools. But what about ear protection? It tends to be overlooked. We need to promote an awareness of the fact that ears can be permanently damaged by intense sound.

But what about loud sound that is unavoidable, such as, ironically, in a church worship service? Many churches today have banks of speakers on the stage that produce sound similar to what one might find in a dance club or rock concert. And, wearing ear plugs in church, well, it would be rather odd. These are unfortunate situations where the ears have no place to hide. Similarly, if one is a pedestrian used in heavy traffic, the decibel level can be extraordinarily high as the tires pound the pavement near you.

As the population ages, as speaker systems expand amperage, as traffic increases in urban centers, as the population concentrates in cities and as personal electronic devices becomes incrementally prevalent, we will see the growth of hearing loss. As a result, we will experience the social and personal problems that will result without preventative measures are taken by groups and individuals. Yes, there are many hearing loss solutions, but the best policy is to protect the ears before impairment events. This is the task of employers, event planners, product promoters, family heads and, yes, church worship leaders. We need everyone to make a difference.

Let's speak up when our ears are threatened. Maybe you should wear orange earplugs next time you go to church, just to send a signal to the guys running the sound board. You just might save yourself and others from, in the future, having to use a personal sound amplifier to hear the sermon!