The medical community advises anyone over the age of 65 to go in for a professional hearing test, as it is very common to begin experiencing signs of auditory loss as we age. It is estimated that at least 30% of those between 65 and 75 has some degree of loss, while nearly 50% above that age are going through some degradation of their auditory senses. It is important to remember that you don’t have to go through any such impairment alone. There are powerful devices, options, and methods you can use to prevent impairment from controlling your life.
Taking It Seriously
As a culture, we have never taken auditory loss or even deafness as seriously as we take blindness and other major problems. But we especially regard mild to moderate loss of hearing as something hardly worth talking about. But there are a number of reasons that the loss of this important sense should be taken seriously. Without good ears, you could miss car horns, sirens, important calls, alarms, and more. But that isn’t even the primary concern. Studies have shown that those with untreated impairment often fall into depression and isolation. There has even been a link between auditory loss and the onset of dementia. Get a hearing test and find out what you can do to prevent yourself from travelling this path.
In order to know that you may need a hearing test, you have to know what to look for. The signs and symptoms of auditory loss can change from person to person, but there are telltale indications that tend to show up again and again. Evaluate your life and determine if any of them are present. Are you asking your friends to repeat themselves when they talk to you? Have you noticed any tinnitus (ringing in the ears)? Do you need the television louder than others in your family? When the answers are “yes”, you may want to consider getting your ears checked.
Unfortunately, auditory loss cannot be treated like nearsightedness. Once you’ve lost sensorineural hearing, there’s no getting it back. However, there are options that can help, and your decision will be clearer after a hearing test. Listening aids, special assistive devices you can use in and away from your home, closed captioning, light-based signaling systems, and special communication techniques can all help keep you from falling behind. The more of these options you put to use, the better your chances will be of remaining a viable part of your community and continuing to have a full and enjoyable life.