Although often overlooked, hearing screenings should be a regular part of your health care plan. Just like you get annual physicals and vision check-ups, all adults should have their hearing checked on a regular basis. While the frequency of your screenings depends on your risk of hearing loss, there are good reasons for everyone to be tested at least once every few years.
Why Get a Hearing Test?
There are important reasons to have periodic hearing screening throughout one’s life. Early diagnosis of congenital hearing loss can lead to more successful treatment, while correcting even mild hearing loss in childhood can improve language and communication skills. Young adults often suffer from noise-induced hearing loss and aren’t even aware of it, while friends and family can mistake hearing loss in older adults as a cognitive impairment.
The important life stages for hearing screenings include:
- At birth. Every baby born in a hospital in the United States is required by law to be given a hearing test. A hearing impairment will interfere with a baby’s ability to interact and learn language. The earlier a hearing deficit is identified, the sooner treatments can begin.
- Throughout childhood. Sometimes what are believed to be learning disabilities in school-aged children are actually attributable to a hearing impairment. If a child can’t properly hear the classroom around him, he will not learn at the same rate as others. Many community health departments conduct hearing tests in schools. A child’s pediatrician can also recommend a hearing test if she or the child’s parents think there might be a problem.
- As a young adult. Noise-induced hearing loss is becoming more and more common among young adults. Listening to loud music through ear buds, a car stereo, or at a live concert can all permanently damage hearing. Young adults serving in the military are often exposed to damaging noises in training and in combat. A baseline test in the later teen years can serve as a useful tool later on when noise-induced hearing loss is suspected. When a young adult identifies and corrects hearing loss, he or she will find social interaction and career advancement easier.
- Throughout adulthood. Age-related hearing loss can begin at any stage of adulthood, but typically begins after 50. The loss can be so gradual that sufferers are not aware their hearing has gotten worse. They may notice loved ones becoming annoyed with them more often or feel the need to turn up the volume on the TV more than others. Without regular screenings to catch gradual hearing loss as it occurs, adults can damage relationships and miss out on career opportunities because of a hearing loss they didn’t know they had.
- In later years. Approximately one in three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 has some amount of hearing loss, and half of people 75 and older have difficulty hearing. Sometimes hearing loss in older adults is believed to be Alzheimer’s disease or some other cognitive impairment. Uncorrected hearing loss can cause social isolation, depression, and dementia in older adults. It is important that seniors have their hearing tested annually and that they are supported in adjusting to hearing aids.
True Sound Offers Free Hearing Tests!
You may not always be offered a hearing test at your annual physical with a general practitioner. Many people don’t get their hearing tested after childhood unless they or their loved ones notice a significant problem.
It is important to be proactive about your hearing health. No matter what your age or hearing ability, it’s always a good time to get a hearing screening. At True Sound Hearing Aid Center, we will give you a free, comprehensive hearing evaluation and recommend the next steps you should take. Don’t put it off any longer! Use the contact link on this page to get started.