Hearing health is often forgotten about until you realize there is something wrong. Even when your ears feel fine, it’s still important to have your hearing tested annually after the age of 21. Baseline testing can be done by your primary care physician during your annual physical exam. The test shows where your hearing is at, so that an audiologist has a comparison point in the event you need further testing done. A hearing screening is a quick, pass-fail test that helps your doctor determine the need for more screenings. If you fail a hearing screening, you’ll need to get a comprehensive hearing test from an audiologist.
Living with hearing loss affects your quality of life, whether it’s the perception of phantom noises or the inability to hear without hearing aids. The first step toward better hearing is to schedule a free hearing test with a trained audiologist who can evaluate your level and type of hearing loss. Hearing Health USA brings the latest in hearing care technology to deliver personalized patient care and help find the most appropriate treatment for your type of hearing loss. Their hearing center has countless locations across the United States. Simply search for “hearing test near me” to schedule your free hearing test at a location near you.
The sooner you take charge of your hearing health, the better your quality of life will be. There are several signs of hearing loss that indicate it’s time to get a hearing test.
1. Hearing and following a conversation is challenging.
Having trouble hearing people over the phone, even when the volume is maximized, may be a sign of impaired hearing. It’s natural to get lost in conversation from time to time as you age. That being said, frequently struggling to follow a conversation with multiple people speaking at once may be a sign of hearing decline.
It’s always a good idea to keep up with hearing screenings. Hearing loss is associated with underlying health conditions, behavior problems, cognitive issues, and advanced age. Health conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes are known to cause hearing issues as well. Most health insurance providers cover the cost of a comprehensive hearing exam when you are referred by your healthcare provider.
2. Carrying on a conversation makes you tired.
Struggling to hear and follow a conversation is physically and mentally tiring. Feeling tired at the end of a regular day of conversing with people, or developing a headache may also be a sign of hearing impairment. Loud or noisy environments can make hearing conversations difficult for anyone. When you have difficulty masking background noises and focusing on speech, you may be experiencing a loss of hearing.
There’s a correlation between your physical health and your mental health. Severe hearing impairment can have a negative effect on your quality of life, relationships, and ability to work. People with impaired hearing commonly suffer from psychological distress that can lead to mental health issues.
Despite how much is known about mental illness, there is still public stigma and negative stereotypes surrounding mental health care. IFRC Media discusses how damaging the psychological impact of negative stigmas can be on people who are different, specifically the LGBT community. Prejudice, negative attitudes, and stigma towards the LGBT community are all still prevalent in the U.S.
It’s not uncommon for LGBT individuals to struggle with mental health problems such as addiction to drugs or alcohol. Self-stigma and stigma from family members about sexual orientation can lead to further negative psychological consequences. The first step toward ending the stigma of mental illness is to seek social support and mental health services from a mental health professional.
3. You misunderstand people and ask “what” frequently.
Sometimes people mumble when they speak and you don’t understand what they say. If you find yourself saying “what?” frequently, this could mean you aren’t receiving sound signals correctly. People with hearing loss typically can’t hear high frequencies but feel like they can hear. When you have a muffled perception of conversation, your hearing may have declined. Misunderstanding what people say is also another cause for concern that should be addressed by an audiologist.
A great way to improve your quality of life and cope with loss of your hearing is to find fun activities that distract you from the frustrations of poor hearing. Turning your household appliances into DIY pieces of art is a fun way to repurpose materials you already have and save money. BVT News suggests great new uses for old washing machines and refrigerators, such as turning your washer into a fire pit or lamp, and your old refrigerator into a pantry or retro ice chest.
Experiencing any of these signs of hearing loss doesn’t mean you have hearing loss. The first step when you are concerned about your hearing care is to get a hearing test from your doctor who can determine the best course of action.