Friday, September 12, 2008

The investment opportunity of the future!

Loud and clear!

Hearing aids.

Need I say more?

It has become increasingly obvious that the hearing aid industry is absolutely guaranteed to be one of the greatest growth sectors of the nation's future economy. I get more evidence of this every day.

For example, my students cannot whisper. Oh, they think they are whispering, but they really aren't. Yesterday I was standing at one end of a large classroom (about 30-feet square) and easily overheard the conversation of a pair of students on the far side.

Well, maybe they were just rude and didn't bother to lower their voices. Isn't that possible? Possible, sure. But if they were merely being impolite, I don't think they would have been so startled when I joined their conversation from the far side of the room. They were clearly surprised that their elderly teacher was eavesdropping on their private interchange. Aren't old guys supposed to be half deaf?

The iPod generation is going to be the hard-of-hearing generation even before they reach middle age, I fear. Too many of them play music so loud that it bleeds from around their ear-bud headphones and even I can hear it from several feet away. And they've lost the ability to whisper. They're doomed, I tell you.

Early deafness: It's not just for rock stars and roadies anymore. Invest in hearing-aid futures. It's a sure thing.


The Ridger, FCD said...

It's amazing the amount of music you can hear from other people's earbuds.

Anonymous said...

I know that noise-canceling headphones are more expensive than the regular kind...but they're cheap compared to the ipod you'd plug it into, and you can hear the music much better. I would think it'd be worth it.

GOPnot4me said...

I'm sorry, could you say again. I didn't quite get that.

Interrobang said...

I can't whisper, but that has more to do with having spent most of my adolescence being trained as a classical vocalist, so trying to whisper really hurts my throat. As in, to the point where I reflexively think, "This is damaging my voice," and stop.

Even assuming that people just don't, hasn't anyone else but me and a few other voice geeks mastered the trick of talking such that you can't be overheard from even a few feet away?

I don't know as I would chalk it up to hearing loss; that kind of thing doesn't usually show up until people's 40s or 50s, even in workers who work in high-noise environments; it's probably just more of the same creeping rudeness that has made it somehow socially acceptable to talk out loud in movie theatres during movies.

The Ridger, FCD said...

But whispering doesn't actually use your voice, does it? It doesn't seem to do so to me.

Hearingaidguy said...

We at have done a study on the expected market for hearing aids. You can see the power point presentation at:

Galgacus said...

I've been in Audiology for nearly thirty years, and my patient list is going up and up. Though as I work for the NHS in the UK, I'm not getting any richer off it.

When I started it was the late 70s and the Time of Disco, and we thought that would lead to all the youth getting Noise-Induced Hearing Loss. It didn't, because they were only exposed once, maybe twice a week. The cochlea had plenty time to recover from the Temporary Threshold Shift. The daily exposures in Shipyards was a problem, weekly exposure in a club wasn't.

iPods are different. They're listening to levels above risk level - >90dB(A) - for long periods every day. I agree, a couple of years and they'll all be wearing HAs. For me, I wear hearing aids as well as dispense them. Music did for me, though in my case it was live music as I was also a piper in the 2/51 Highland Regt. Bit of gunfire too...

Karen said...

Isn't texting the modern form of whispering?

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