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Add an Annual Hearing Test To Your New Year’s Resolutions!


Terri Ellert, HIS

Terri has been in practice as a Board-Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist for the past 11 years and is a co-founder of the Hearing Centers of Arizona.
Terri Ellert, HIS

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Add an Annual Hearing Test To Your New Year's Resolutions!

We all start out the new year with the best of intentions and a list of New Year’s resolutions. You’re going to go to the gym more, save money, eat healthier, and stay in touch with far-away friends. You are going to do all those annual exams – a mammogram or a colonoscopy, an eye exam, a teeth cleaning and this year – you are going to call Hearing Centers of Arizona and schedule an annual hearing evaluation. I know, that came as a surprise. After all, research indicates more people schedule a colonoscopy but not a hearing evaluation!

Here’s why you need to add a hearing test to your list of “annuals” you take care of each year.


Let’s run the numbers

About 22 million Americans, or about 22% of the population, are exposed to hazardous noise levels at work. But you can also encounter dangerous noise levels at rock concerts, sporting events and the gun range. Add to that the fact that a big percentage of the population experiences hearing loss as part of the aging process. An estimated 50 million Americans experience tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, and 90% of those are also experiencing hearing loss.

But hearing loss is spread across all age ranges. About 13% of American children between the age of 6 and 19 have had their hearing permanently damaged from over exposure to loud noise. Baby boomers who ignored their parents’ complaints about loud rock concerts damaged their ears and today, millennials who crank up their personal electronic devices on the way to work or working out at the gym are also damaging their hearing. About 14% of American adults between the ages of 45 and 64 have some hearing loss. Almost 40% of American adults over the age of 65 have hearing loss and over the age of 75, about two-thirds of the population has hearing loss.


Facing the stigma

There’s not a stigma around getting contacts or glasses to fix fading sight but unfortunately, there is still a stigma about getting hearing aids. Individuals with hearing loss often wait between 5 and 10 years before they get hearing aids. And a large number of that group has already been diagnosed with hearing loss and decided they will just “get by” with it because they feels as if they aren’t old enough to start wearing hearing aids.

Sadly, the longer your brain goes without receiving sound signals from your ears, the less likely it is to recover the gaps in your hearing when hearing devices are used. Today, only one in five people who would benefit from hearing aids use them.


Impacts of untreated hearing loss

According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, untreated hearing loss negatively impacts nearly every dimension of the human experience including physical, emotional, and mental health, social skills, family relationships, self-esteem, and work and school performance.

Untreated  hearing loss has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes, stroke, falls, hypertension, sleep apnea and early on-set dementia. People with untreated hearing loss tend to isolate themselves because it is easier than dealing with the frustration of not being able to hear. They also tend to be exhausted by the end of the day and start going to be earlier and earlier. Not exercising the brain with social interaction leads to the atrophy of cognitive functions and that leads to dementia.

So, ask yourself…

Are you turning up the volume on the television more and more? Are you having trouble hearing on the phone? Does speech sound muffled when people are talking to you? Is it difficult hearing a conversation in  crowded environment? Is it hard to hear the server when you’re out for dinner? Is it easier to follow a conversation if the person is standing right in front of you? Is it difficult to tell which direction a sound is coming from? Are you asking people to repeat themselves?

If you’ve answered yes to two or more of these questions, you have hearing loss.


Schedule that hearing test

An annual hearing test sets a baseline for you on where your hearing is. It can give you peace of mind knowing your hearing is healthy, or show you that you may be experiencing hearing loss. Don’t delay, but schedule that annual hearing test today at a Hearing Centers of Arizona.

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