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Getting Your Hearing Tested (the Earlier the Better!)

Consumer Reports recently surveyed 120,000+ members on hearing and hearing loss. Almost 30% said they've either never had a hearing exam or have gone for more than a decade without any type of hearing test procedure. Taking care of your hearing is just as important as taking care of the rest of your body. Get your hearing screened regularly. You might not think so, but hearing difficulties can have a profound effect on concentration, memory problems, depression, and they also have strong links to dementia. Hearing loss can end up taking a serious toll on relationships with family, friends, and co-workers. 

Spotting Possible Signs of Hearing Trouble

Here are some signs that you may be suffering from hearing loss: 

  • You can hear vowels but are having a difficult time deciphering consonant sounds. This is common as consonants are spoken at a higher frequency.

  • People complain about the high volume of your radio and TV.

  • You have a hard time hearing in restaurants or other settings with background noise.

  • Conversations sound muffled to you, similar to as if you are underwater.

  • You're repeatedly asking people to repeat themselves and speak more slowly.

  • It is difficult to hear people talking on the phone.

When should you get your hearing checked? Although there are no evidence-based guidelines established on how often to get your hearing checked as an adult, most audiologists recommend a hearing screening once every 10 years up until the age of 50, once every 3 years after 50, and then annually after 60. Children get tested through schools every few years. The most common screening for adults and older children is a pure-tone test which is simplistic. You put on earphones and raise your hand when you hear a beep, and it is pass or fail. If you pass, you’re done. If you fail, further hearing tests are needed. Regular hearing exams help with the conundrum that people face as they grow older - the loss is gradual, so people don’t realize that they have or are experiencing hearing loss. The signs are very subtle and easy to miss. 

There are other easy options for hearing testing. Researchers at Indiana University, the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, and Communications Disorders Technology developed an 8-minute, telephone-based, free National Hearing Test. There are also free hearing tests offered at some drugstores and health fairs. If you fail any of these hearing tests, it simply serves as an indicator that it’s time to visit a hearing specialist.

Hearing Loss and Dementia

Several recent studies have established a link between dementia and hearing loss.  If you have or experience hearing loss, your risk of developing dementia increases between 200% to 500%. This is because when you are not able to hear, you have to work harder to fill in the blanks of the information that your lack of hearing is not providing for your brain. This causes you to go into cognitive overload. Consequently, your brain has less energy to focus on remembering and processing information. 

The good thing is, treating hearing loss is the number one preventive action you can take in warding off dementia. In fact, there is a study that states that treating hearing loss is a more effective solution than any current medical treatment on the market.  

If you're interested in getting a free evaluation for your hearing needs or questions, get in touch with Dennison Hearing Solutions today. Committed to helping you maintain the best possible hearing throughout your life, a combination of technology and personalized care will allow you to be yourself, maintain your vitality, and maintain your connections. Contact us at (770) 209-2627 or book an appointment online.