We are surrounded by an amazing world of sounds. We enjoy nature, communicate with loved ones, and learn and develop thanks to the ability to hear. Unfortunately, this can be easily lost, especially in the modern conditions of noisy cities. The situation is complicated by the fact that we do not think about hearing health until problems appear.
The hearing organs have a complex and fragile structure, which can be easily damaged! It is very important to take care of your hearing and treat it in time. Do you want to preserve your hearing until old age and hear the voices of your loved ones? Then don’t forget to test your hearing!
Why is testing for hearing loss important?
Most Americans develop hearing problems gradually over several years. A person may not notice the first symptoms. As a result, the patient does not receive the necessary treatment in time, and the hearing problem worsens. For children, this is even more dangerous. After all, because of hearing problems, they begin to lag behind their peers in development.
There is a misconception that mild hearing loss does not greatly harm a person. People think that it’s OK if they just ask to repeat a few times during the conversation or turn the TV up a little bit. This is a big mistake!
Firstly, a slight degree of hearing loss already affects the work of the body, in particular, the brain. Due to new conditions (a person begins to hear worse), the brain rebuilds its wiring, which leads to a deterioration of its cognitive functions. Secondly, hearing loss does not go away by itself. On the contrary, the problem is gradually developing, worsening the quality of life more and more. And it’s not just the difficulties in recognizing external sounds and people’s voices. Hearing loss without treatment leads to the development of physiological and psychological difficulties, and they greatly interfere with everyday life. For example, difficulties with orientation in space often lead to dizziness and falls, which is especially dangerous for older people who already suffer from age-related hearing loss. Each fall can cause serious injuries, up to fractures. A person who does not hear well will try to avoid contact with people, gradually reducing them to a minimum, which leads to isolation from society and the development of depression and other psychological problems.
A person may not be aware that something is happening to his hearing, attributing the problem to stress, fatigue, etc. Precious time is running out while he continues to live his daily life.
As you can see, even mild hearing loss is a great danger to the happy life of any American. Dr. Zhanneta Shapiro emphasizes that the best way to avoid sound deterioration is to determine the presence of hearing loss in time and start treatment. You should get your hearing tested, even if there are no obvious symptoms of the problem.
How to check hearing ability?
Today, audiologists have a wide variety of techniques and equipment for determining hearing problems. They are effective, painless, and help to detect hearing loss in time and determine the correct treatment. Most often it is the daily use of hearing aids. These are small electronic devices. Each examination method has its own distinctive features.
What is hearing screening?
Screening for hearing loss is suitable for those Americans who do not have obvious symptoms of hearing loss. This is a quick and easy preventive way to check your hearing health. It includes answers to special questions or an online hearing test. It is available to every American. Hearing screening effectively confirms the presence/absence of hearing problems for further action.
Testing for hearing loss
The hearing test is more involved. Audiologists with the help of special equipment carry it out if the patient complains of hearing loss symptoms. As already mentioned above, hearing often worsens gradually over several months and even years. When do you need to check your hearing?
You have difficulty communicating, often ask the speaker to repeat themselves
It is difficult for you to listen and understand speech in a noisy environment (cafe, street, meeting, etc.)
You increase the volume of the TV, phone, etc.
You get tired quickly at work and become irritable or depressed
If you observe several symptoms mentioned above then it’s time to seek help and check your hearing. Tonal audiometry will help to identify hearing difficulties and prescribe effective treatment. Hearing testing involves sitting in a sound-treated booth and having your hearing levels measured. Audiologists often refer to this type of testing as a comprehensive hearing exam.
How often should hearing health be checked?
Hearing testing is an important component of hearing health. Therefore, it is important to conduct examinations, even if you do not experience visible difficulties. How often should I do it?
Most audiologists recommend checking your hearing once every year.. Testing will help to identify the presence of a problem in time for further treatment. However, there are several risk groups for which hearing testing should be more frequent.
People over 60 years old. With age, hearing deteriorates due to natural causes. Studies show that this is the most common cause of hearing loss in the world. At the same time, hearing loss can occur both suddenly and develop gradually and very slowly. Therefore, doctors recommend regular hearing tests with a frequency of at least 1 time a year, which will help to exclude or control the development of age-related hearing loss.
Workers in noisy occupations. Noise-induced hearing loss is a common problem. It occurs even in young Americans. If your profession is associated with places where the noise level exceeds the norm (above 85 dB), it is recommended to check your hearing at least once every six months. At the same time, do not forget to use protective earplugs or headphones to protect your hearing from the negative effects of noise.
It is necessary to check your hearing even if you do not belong to the risk group. On the contrary, if you notice symptoms of a problem, then seek help as soon as possible. It is necessary to check your hearing, even if you wear hearing aids. After all, hearing is constantly changing. For some people, these are rapid changes, for others they are slow. The hearing test will show the trend of hearing and will help to carry out the additional tuning of your hearing aids or replace them with more powerful models.
Hearing is our irreplaceable opportunity to contact the outside world. Without it, our life becomes difficult and unhappy. Therefore, take care of the health of your hearing and check it on time!
About Dr Zhanneta Shapiro
Dr Zhanneta Shapiro received her Masters of Science from Brooklyn College in 2005 and completed her Doctorate of Audiology from Florida University in May 2008. Her graduate training was in various hospitals in the tri-state area and a residency period completed at Ear Nose and Throat Associates of New York. [ Learn More ]