If you chip a tooth, you go to the dentist. If you break a leg, you go to the hospital. If you are having trouble with your vision, you go and see an optician. So why do so many people ignore the signs of hearing loss? Exposure to as little as 15 minutes of everyday loud noise, e.g. a subway train can cause permanent hearing loss. In fact, noise is the number one cause of hearing loss in the country, yet on average, people experiencing hearing loss ignore the issues for 15 years before finally getting a hearing aid.
If you find yourself asking people to repeat themselves, or surviving conversations in crowded rooms with the classic ‘smile and nod’ technique, it could be time for you to have a hearing test. As it is Hearing Health Awareness Month, let’s investigate what you can expect when you have your hearing tested:
How do I know if I have problems with my hearing?
Some of the signs of hearing loss include muffled sounds, having trouble distinguishing consonants when people speak and struggling to understand people talking to you in a noisy environment. This may lead to avoiding certain social situations due to feeling awkward or isolated.
When do I need to get a hearing test?
As soon as you can. Over a third of people aged 60 or above have problems with their hearing, which rises to half of all people when you reach age 85. The chances are, if hearing loss does not already affect you, it may well do in later life. The key to successfully treating hearing issues is detecting them early.
What does hearing screening involve?
First, you will meet one of our friendly audiologists, who will go through a series of non-invasive tests to check your hearing health. The process is quick but comprehensive, including a gentle exploration of your inner ear using an otoscope. We will also look at wax levels and how you hear tone and speech to determine the any potential issues.