Have Your Hearing Checked
Have you had your hearing checked lately? Unfortunately, a routine screening of hearing is something that many people neglect. Chances are, if you are not hearing well, you don’t even realize it. Your wife, husband, or children may notice it however. Sure, it may just be ear wax, or it could be that other people at home mumble instead of speaking clearly. But if you are over 65, you should know that 1 in 2 people of that age do have some degree of hearing loss. That’s half of us!
Indicators of Hearing Loss
- Do you have difficulty understanding words when you are in a crowd of people?
- Do you have trouble understanding plural words and in hearing consonants?
- Do you constantly turn up the volume on your TV or radio?
- Do you frequently have to ask people to repeat what they said?
- Is it necessary for you to face a person and watch closely when he speaks?
- You sometimes avoid speaking to others in social situations like restaurants, at church, or in noisy group settings.
- Have you given up on talking on the phone or participating in conversations because you usually don’t understand what is being said?
If you find any of these are true for you, then take the next step and get your hearing checked. With a hearing test, you will know for certain. We should have a dental check-up and a vision test annually, so let’s include a hearing test next time you visit your physician for an annual check-up.
Make an Appointment
Most family physicians can do a hearing test in their office. If your test results show a significant loss or a serious situation, you may be referred to a Otolaryngologist or ENT ( Ear, Nose, Throat) doctor who can diagnose the cause of your hearing loss and treat that loss. Heredity, aging, long exposure to loud noises, and certain drugs and diseases can cause hearing loss. The ENT may refer you to an audiologist or may have an audiologist as part of his practice. An audiologist specializes in hearing loss and fitting hearing aids.
Are you listening?
Do you believe that your hearing loss is not really a problem for you, and it’s best to do nothing about it? Then consider how a hearing loss cuts you off from interaction with the larger world, and how that isolation affects you emotionally and mentally. It may be more depressing for you or more of a drain on your mental energy than you realize. There is treatment, and there are devices to help you. You can take action now to prevent further serious harm to your mental health and your mental abilities.
Over the past few years, researchers at Johns Hopkins have done studies looking at how hearing loss might influence a decline in mental abilities. Researchers tracked seniors to see which ones developed Alzheimer’s and how quickly the disease progressed. In each study, the people with hearing loss had higher rates of dementia. One study said people with hearing loss were 24% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. In a different study, the results showed that the worse the hearing loss was, the more likely the person was to develop dementia.
What did you say?
Get your hearing checked today!
This article will help with selecting a hearing aid.