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We usually visit our general practitioner for one of two reasons: to address a medical need or for an annual checkup. Likewise, we visit the dentist for either a dental issue or for our semi-annual cleaning. So why is it that many people only think to visit a hearing healthcare professional once they are already hearing impaired? As you would visit your dentist or doctor, you should also make annual hearing tests a priority.
Even if you are a young adult, hearing Screenings should be on the list of baseline tests you have done annually. Here are the two main reasons why:
1. Hearing loss is often gradual
The same way your doctor routinely checks your blood pressure or tests your cholesterol levels, or you get an eye exam to see if your prescription changed, you need to monitor your hearing health. By the time most people notice their hearing loss on their own, the extent of impairment is already quite advanced. Even if you haven’t noticed any signs of hearing loss thus far, it’s still important to get your hearing tested by a hearing healthcare professional once a year. That way, if you start to lose some of your hearing ability, you can quickly address it before it begins to negatively affect your life.
2. Untreated hearing loss affects your health and happiness
Chances are, you will experience some degree of hearing loss in your lifetime. Whether it’s from ageing or being around excessive noise levels, like at concerts and sporting events. We’ve said it before; hearing loss doesn’t discriminate!
In most situations, the longer you wait to see a professional, the worse your hearing will get. Not only has it been linked to many different health concerns like heart disease and sleep apnea, but also opens the door for loss of cognitive ability. The things that we hear in the world around us keep our brains stimulated; when we lose that constant stimulation it opens the door for dementia, depression, and brain shrinkage, to name a few.
Aside from health concerns, hearing loss can negatively impact your work relationships and your personal and family relationships. Communication will likely be strained and this can result in lower earning power and frustration among loved ones. However, taking early action to address your hearing loss can combat these obstacles.The use of hearing aids has been shown to improve brain function, professional and personal communication, and your overall quality of life.
Whether you think you might have hearing loss, or if you just need an annual hearing test, take the first step today and schedule a screening!