As we age, our hearing sensitivity to sound as well as our brain’s ability to process complex signals such as speech in quiet; speech in noise; and background sounds such as doors creaking, refrigerator motors and running water; decreases. We start to miss sounds like telephones and door bells ringing.
Generally speaking, it is recommended that individuals over the age of 55 get a hearing test annually to determine if they have started to experience some degree of hearing loss. However, anyone can make a hearing test appointment, at any age!
Most people (which may include you) tend to delay getting a hearing test by more than seven years after they should. By putting off getting your hearing tested, you don’t realize you have a hearing loss so you aren’t getting the help you need.
With a thorough test, provided by a professionally-trained hearing health care professional, you will find out if you have a hearing loss (or not), the degree and type of hearing loss you have, and whether your hearing can substantially improve with the use of hearing aids. In some cases, you may learn that there is no hearing loss and that you don’t need to do anything more. However, when there is hearing loss, getting help sooner than later can help improve your quality of life.
Research supports the view that, if you require hearing aids, the sooner you start to wear them, the better the outcome will be. Starting earlier results in an improvement in your ability to listen and communicate because you re-train the brain to process complex signals again, sooner than later.
Generally speaking, the older you are, the harder it is to adjust to change (physically and attitudinally), including listening through hearing aids.
If you suspect a hearing loss at any time, get your hearing tested sooner than later regardless of your age! AND, if you need help, the sooner you start, the better the outcome.
Some signs of hearing loss include but are not limited to:
• Having trouble hearing during phone conversations
• Turning the TV up louder; especially if people are noticing
• Thinking most people are mumbling
• Having trouble hearing in crowded or noisy environments
• Asking people to repeat what they are saying
• Misunderstanding conversations
• Family members and/or friends tell you that you are not listening
• Withdrawing from social situations
Glen Sutherland, MCISc
Please note that the information in this blog is presented for the purpose of providing information and should not be used for medical diagnosis or treatment nor should it be used in place of medical advice from your doctor or hearing health care professional.