Most healthcare practitioners will agree, annual health screens are a good idea. They help to ensure that we are healthy, and also help to identify any potential issues before they become a major problem. While most people are quite familiar with annual health screens, they may be less familiar with annual hearing tests.
Unlike many other ailments that have easy to identify symptoms, hearing loss is different. For most people, hearing loss develops very slowly, over a period of years or even decades. This slow pace makes hearing loss very difficult to identify. Because of this and other reasons, Americans wait an average of seven years from the time they notice changes in their hearing to the time they seek treatment from a professional. Don’t live a near decade with untreated hearing loss. Instead, take a proactive approach to your hearing health and commit to an annual hearing evaluation.
Who should get an annual hearing test?
Those 60 and older
Hearing loss can happen to anyone at any age. While this is true, hearing loss is still more common amongst older adults, as hearing loss can be a symptom of natural aging. It is recommended that adults begin the practice of regular hearing tests at the age of 60. This will help you and your audiologist to develop a baseline of your hearing abilities. With this baseline intact, it will be extremely easy for you and your hearing healthcare provider to track your hearing progress, and to quickly and easily assess whether or not you have lost hearing over time.
Those who worry about their hearing
Maybe social gatherings are less enjoyable than they used to be because it is difficult to follow conversations. Perhaps you feel like those around you are mumbling or you have begun struggling to hold conversations over the phone. These are likely signs that you should reach out to your local hearing healthcare provider for a hearing assessment. As mentioned above, obtaining a baseline of your hearing abilities will make it much easier to determine whether or not you have experienced hearing loss over the course of a year or two.
Those who hear complaints from friends or family
If you have noticed your friends and family complain that you are not listening to them, are ignoring them, or get requests to turn down the volume, it may be a sign of hearing loss. If your loved ones are concerned about your hearing, it’s probably time to see your hearing healthcare provider. Oftentimes, hearing loss is extremely difficult for the person experiencing it to notice, and it takes some encouragement from a loved one to take the first step.
Those who work in noisy environments
Excessive exposure to loud noises is one of the most common causes of hearing loss. If you work in a noisy workplace, it is best practice to start getting annual hearing evaluations as soon as possible. In the meantime, reach out to your employer for assistance with hearing protection to use on the job. It is your right for your employer to provide hearing protection if you work in an environment that is noisy enough to potentially cause hearing loss.
Why are annual hearing tests important?
Untreated hearing loss has a many adverse effects. Those with untreated hearing loss are more likely to experience loneliness, social isolation and depression. Untreated hearing loss has been found to increase the risk of developing dementia. Luckily, hearing aids have been found to mitigate some of these concerns.
If you are 60 years of age or older, work in a noisy workplace, or are worried about your hearing, don’t delay in scheduling your hearing evaluation with The Hearing Doctor. Hearing evaluations are quick, painless, and results are available immediately. Contact us today!