Hearing loss often affects older adults. Here’s how to protect your hearing as you age.
Hearing loss is a common consequence of aging, but can be prevented with proper screening. Called the “invisible handicap,” many people don’t recognize early stages of the condition and show no outward signs of difficulty.
All adults should periodically have their hearing checked. Most doctors recommend hearing screenings every 10 years until age 50, then every 3 years until age 60 and every 1-2 years after that. Hearing tests should be done even if you have no signs of hearing loss. If you do have signs of hearing loss, hearing exams may be done more frequently.
If hearing loss is discovered during a screening, you may be referred to an audiologist, ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat specialist), otologist or otolaryngologist for further testing or treatment.
Why should you have your hearing tested?
Hearing loss can affect a person’s physical and mental well-being, especially as you age. Here are just a few ways hearing loss can affect you:
- Hearing loss can reduce your ability to communicate and may lead to isolation, alienation and depression. This affects up to 40% of adults over age 65.
- Not hearing instructions from physicians, pharmacists or caregivers can put your health at risk.
- Being unable to hear traffic sounds, doorbells, telephones, alarms, emergency vehicles, smoke detectors or cries for help can compromise your safety and may even put your life in jeopardy.
How do you know if you have a hearing problem?
These are common symptoms of hearing loss:
- Turning up the volume on your TV
- Struggling to follow conversations in crowded or noisy settings
- Frequently asking “what” or “huh”
- Complaining about people mumbling, talking too fast or not speaking clearly
- Finding it hard to make out words of songs on the radio or dialogue in movies
It’s a good idea to get your hearing tested if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
Have questions about our Audiology Department? Contact one of our Audiologist today!
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Date Last Reviewed: January 27, 2022
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Dietary Review: Perry Pitkow, MD