Why You Should Talk About Hearing Health at Your Next Physical

Why You Should Talk About Hearing Health at Your Next Physical

AuDSEO Designs Hearing Health, Hearing Loss Treatment

Hearing loss is a condition that affects more than 30 million people in the United States. In fact, it’s estimated that one out of every eight Americans over the age of 12 demonstrates some degree of hearing loss in both ears. 

It’s one of the leading chronic health concerns in the country, and yet, people are twice as likely to have their vision examined over hearing. Here’s why you should talk about hearing health at your next physical. 

Hearing Loss Can Impact Anyone

The onset of hearing loss knows no boundaries. It doesn’t discriminate based on age, weight or other demographics. There are a multitude of causes ranging from illness, trauma, aging, noise exposure or injury. 

The early signs of acquired hearing loss are so subtle that they can often go unnoticed at first, meaning that many people with hearing loss don’t even know there is a problem. It’s exceptionally important to notice and pay attention to recent changes in hearing health, like difficulty with speech clarity, or understanding what people are saying. 

Aging And The Importance Of Regular Screening

While anyone can have hearing loss, the strongest predictor is age. Environmental factors can play a role in predicting future hearing problems, but the simple act of aging itself takes a toll on the important inner ear cells that play an essential role in the hearing process. One-third of people over the age of 65 have hearing loss right now.

One hurdle in recognizing hearing loss is that we don’t have our hearing examined nearly as regularly as we should. Experts recommend that we undergo hearing exams once every ten years for people over the age of 18. As we age, the frequency of hearing exams should increase. After your fiftieth birthday, schedule one every three years. Once you turn 65, set up an annual hearing exam so that any potential hearing health changes are caught in early detection.

Underlying Conditions And Preventative Measures

Hearing health is foundational for overall well being, but detectable hearing loss might also be an indicator of an underlying health issue. Conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and certain medications can contribute to hearing loss. By discussing your hearing concerns, your healthcare provider can evaluate if further investigations or referrals are necessary to address any potential underlying health issues.

The Risks Of Untreated Hearing Loss

At its core, hearing loss is a condition that interferes with interpersonal communication. As humans, our need for emotional connection is often dependent on our ability to maintain strong bonds with family and friends. When easy communication is interrupted, our relationships suffer and so does our mental and emotional wellbeing. Depression and a sense of isolation are often experienced by people with hearing loss as a result of these broken connections. 

Treating hearing loss can improve older people’s safety and independence. Compared to people with healthy hearing, people with hearing loss are more prone to suffer accidents within the home because hearing plays a strong role in the balance system. We use sound, almost unconsciously, to help orient ourselves in space. Moreover, the increased mental load that hearing loss places on the brain may leave us distracted in everyday life to the point that our safety is vulnerable. 

And that’s not the only way our cognitive function is tied to hearing loss. There is a strong link between cognitive and hearing health. Scientists have found, using brain scans, that those with hearing loss experience a faster rate of atrophy in the brain compared to people with healthy hearing. Untreated hearing loss, even mild, can more than double your risk of a future dementia diagnosis.

Hearing Loss Is Highly Treatable

One of the obstacles to treatment, as revealed by extensive surveys, is unfamiliarity with the condition and successful solution options. Meeting with a hearing health specialist helps to illuminate your current hearing situation and often results in a focused plan to help you recoup the best possible hearing available to you. 

Schedule A Hearing Consultation Today

If you’ve noticed recent changes in your hearing health or haven’t had a hearing exam in the last few years, get in touch with our highly trained team to schedule a hearing consultation today.