Saturday, February 18, 2017

Can You Hear What I Hear

When it comes to the loss of hearing there is more to consider than just the inability to converse with others or doing things you enjoy, such as watching television or going to a movie. Recent studies are showing hearing loss not only impacts your social welfare but can have some serious impact on your health. The loss of hearing can be correlated with depression, dementia, and difficulty ambulating, leading to falls. Knowing the loss of hearing has hidden risk factors makes it important to consider when you should begin testing. 
There is a misconception that hearing loss is only prevalent in "older" people or there is no need to have your hearing tested unless it is apparent that your capacity to hear has diminished. Hearing loss is subtle making it very difficult to detect in the earlier stages without being accessed by a board certified Audiologist.
The Association of Independent Hearing Healthcare Professionals recommend hearing test begin as early as age 18, regardless of noticeable hearing loss. Testing should be done every five years until age 45 when testing intervals become every three years until age 60. After age 60 it becomes necessary to increase testing to every two years. If a parent suspects their child has some degree of hearing loss, always speak with your pediatrician for their recommendation.
Unfortunately the cost of hearing aids, which can be anywhere from $1500 to $3000 or more per ear, is usually not covered by medical insurance making this an investment that many people cannot afford. Don't let this fact prevent you from exploring sources for insurance and financial  assistance that may be available to help cover the cost.
Hearing loss has several causes which can range from the correctable as wax build up in the ears to the more serious as the ruptured ear drum. We can do nothing to change father times impact on our hearing but each on of us can make changes to environmental factors that over time lead to noise induced hearing loss. So...the next time you put those headphones on...turn it down a notch.

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