One of The Easiest Annual Health Checks to Keep You Vital
by Lindsay Robinson, HIA Program Coordinator
May 3, 2023
If you develop an illness that prevents you from going out, attending family events, or enjoying hobbies, most people would visit a doctor to quickly find help in returning to their daily routine.
However, when it comes to hearing loss, Hearing Industries Association research indicates that, on average, people wait 4 years after noticing hearing difficulty to visit a hearing professional. Many dismiss their hearing as unimportant and learn coping methods such as turning up the TV or avoiding noisy restaurants and other public situations. What you may not know is how much hearing loss and isolation impact your physical and mental wellbeing.
If you work in a noisy environment, regularly enjoy loud concerts or sporting events, or if you are over 50, it’s important to include a hearing test in your annual healthcare routine. And as the prevalence of hearing loss is rising in teens and young adults from loud music and hobbies, it’s also important for young people to get a hearing test if they are experiencing difficulty hearing or tinnitus (constant whistling, buzzing, hissing in one or both ears). Here are a few reasons why you should schedule an appointment with a licensed hearing professional:
- Good hearing can keep you safe. Hearing loss can occur gradually over a long period of time. Routine hearing tests can lead to early intervention and treatment to reduce your risk of accidental injuries and falls leading to hospitalization.1
- Reduce your risk of cognitive decline. As discussed in our last blog, hearing plays an important role in cognitive health. In fact, treating hearing loss through the use of hearing aids was the largest factor that protected participants from cognitive decline in The Lancet study of nearly 4,000 individuals over the age of 65.2
- Improve your job performance. If you are still working and your job requires you to communicate with others or hear important information, then routine hearing tests are essential. Those with hearing loss earn 72-78% of the wages of people with no hearing loss, depending on age.3
- Healthy hearing encourages connectivity. Good communication is the foundation of relationships. In an age where loneliness and social isolation have become an epidemic, don’t let an inability to hear create boundaries with friends and family. One study suggested that in only 4 to 6 weeks of hearing aid use, individuals with hearing loss saw a significant decline in their perceptions of loneliness.4
Hearing loss treatment can bring improved quality of life including a better outlook on mood, mobility, independence, communication, and social interaction. In fact, 8 in 10 who chose to treat their hearing loss report life-changing results.5 Reach out to a hearing professional today to schedule your quick and simple hearing test, and repeat this routine annually at the age of 50 and up. Your body and mind will thank you - and probably your family and friends too!
1 Lin, H. W., Mahboubi, H., & Bhattacharyya, N. (2018). Self-reported Hearing Difficulty and Risk of Accidental Injury in US Adults, 2007 to 2015. JAMA otolaryngology-- head & neck surgery, 144(5), 413–417. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamaoto.2018.0039
2 Livingston, Gill. "Dementia Prevention, Intervention, and Care: 2020 Report of the Lancet Commission." The Lancet, 14 Aug. 2020.
3 Tehranchi, Kian; Jeyakumar, Anita† Hearing Loss's Incidence and Impact on Employment in the United States, Otology & Neurotology: August 2020 - Volume 41 - Issue 7 - p 916-921 doi: 10.1097/MAO.0000000000002683
4 “Relating Hearing Aid Use to Social and Emotional Loneliness in Older Adults.” Barbara E. Weinstein, Lynn W. Sirow, Sarah Moser. Am J Audiology. 2016 Mar; 25(1): 54–61. doi: 10.1044/2015_AJA-15-0055
5 Powers TA, Carr K. MarkeTrak 2022: Navigating the changing landscape of hearing healthcare. Hearing Review. 2022;29(5):12-17.