There are many reasons why having a regular hearing test is a good idea, even if you have normal hearing. Hearing is our most important social sense; it is what allows us to communicate with one another and connect with our friends, families, and loved ones. A yearly test is particularly important if you have other disorders which have been identified as possible causes of hearing loss, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and a history of certain infections, particularly in childhood.
Hearing loss has also been identified as a risk factor for other disorders, particularly disorders that affect cognitive health. Four of these disorders are particularly important as a person continues to age:
- Dementia – Researchers at Johns Hopkins University recently found that individuals who have untreated hearing loss are significantly more likely to develop dementia time than those people who seek early treatment for their hearing loss. This relationship could be due to a number of factors, such as social isolation, increased cognitive strain or a similar underlying pathology.
- Brain Atrophy – This study was released by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Researchers found that brain volume decreased among patients with untreated hearing loss, a condition that made it more difficult for those particular subjects to understand complex sentences.
- Depression – In 1999, a National Counsel on Aging survey of 2,300 hearing impaired adults age 50 and older found that those with untreated hearing loss were more likely to report depression, anxiety, and paranoia and were less likely to participate in organized social activities, compared to those who wear hearing aids.
- Risk of Falling – Though some people have issues with their hearing that involve their vestibular (balance) function, this study looks more at the direct nature between even a so-called mild hearing loss and fall risk. All other risk factors aside, a person with hearing loss is three times more likely to fall, and that risk increases dramatically as the hearing loss progresses.
These are just a few of the ways in which even a so-called mild hearing loss can affect a person’s lifestyle on a larger scale. A yearly hearing test, particularly for those patients with risk factors for hearing loss, can help insure that treatment is sought for the hearing loss when it is needed. Also, yearly tests can serve as valuable tools to monitor the progression of hearing loss over time, allowing any hearing aid prescribed to be appropriately fit to an individual’s hearing needs.
To schedule your yearly or baseline hearing test, call us today for an appointment. Our Four-Step Process is centered around discovering your individual hearing and listening needs, even if you just need a baseline examination. We have appointment times available Monday thru Friday, so we’re sure to have one that’s perfect for your busy schedule. Let us help you keep on top of your hearing health needs!