Raul de Molina of Univision, A baby boomer with hearing loss, Endorses The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary’s Campaign to Raise Awareness
The following is a Q and A with Raúl de Molina – the multiple Emmy award winning co-host of Univision networks #1 rated entertainment news show, El Gordo y La Flaca. Raul is also the author of the bestselling La Dieta del Gordo and an accomplished photojournalist, whose work has been featured in Time Magazine, Newsweek, Life and Paris Match, among others. He and his wife Mily and daughter Mia live in Miami, FL.
At what age did you realize you were experiencing hearing loss?
Not until I was about 47 years old. Later than you would expect
How did you know your hearing was declining?
I first noticed it when my wife, Mily, was talking to me and I couldn’t quite understand what she was saying. Some would call that selective hearing (and perhaps it was!) but that was when it first occurred to me that something was not quite right.
Where did you go to seek assistance?
I went to the Miami Hearing & Speech Center where I saw a wonderful doctor – Dr. Constance Cabeza – who performed various tests on me. http://www.hearflorida.com/
Do you know other baby boomers like yourself who are struggling with this issue?
The numbers are staggering – 36 million Americans already have some degree of hearing loss, and with 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 each day, this number is expected to grow and grow. As a generation, we must get better about protecting our hearing.
What would you like other people to know about this issue?
That hearing loss can happen to anyone, that there is no shame in it, and that there are many ways to prevent and control it. There is a stigma attached to hearing loss – to many it means admitting you are getting older - but what could be more senior than for your hearing to deteriorate and to do nothing about it?!
Why do you think it is particularly important to educate Hispanics and Latinos about hearing loss?
Many people in the Hispanic community have no idea where to turn in health-related situations, whether through a lack of education or limited access to insurance and thereby doctors. I am hopeful that by sharing my personal experience, I can create increased awareness among Hispanics and Latinos suffering from the same issue.
Why are you endorsing The New York Eye & Ear Infirmary’s campaign to raise awareness about this issue?
I am endorsing this campaign because it’s important to support an organization that helps raise awareness about hearing loss but also because The New York Eye & Ear Infirmary really devotes time and energy to providing the public with an enhanced experience once they have taken the important step to improve their hearing health. Staff are knowledgeable and considerate, creating user friendly resources such as the fantastic site -www.iLikeMyHearing.org – which provides a simple hearing loss self-test, information on where baby boomers can go to get their hearing tested, and tips about ways to prevent hearing loss.
What would you say to younger people about the hazards of personal listening devices?
Be sensible about how you listen to music. Yes, it’s a great song, but does it really need to be listened to at the maximum decibel level? My own hearing degenerated not because of loud music but because of the IFB I have had in my ear during broadcasts for the past twenty years. Hearing loss will affect many young people and the more we can do to raise awareness sooner rather than later, the better off we will all be.