Have you talked to your doctor about your hearing health? Many Americans visit their doctor every year for their annual physical, but very few people have a hearing screening as part of their physical exam. Physicians usually do not include a hearing screening unless you request it.
If you haven’t had a hearing screening in several years, here’s why you should talk about hearing at your next physical.
Why Hearing Matters
Your overall health and general quality of life are closely connected. If you have hearing loss, the effects reach far beyond having a hard time following conversations. Hearing loss is linked to worse overall health outcomes, reduced physical activity, and a higher risk of depression, anxiety, and even dementia.
Hearing loss does matter, and that’s why you should talk about hearing at your next physical. Your doctor can administer a hearing screening so you can learn more about your hearing health. This test doesn’t tell you a lot about your hearing range, but it will show you if you have hearing loss.
Why Get a Hearing Screening?
Requesting a hearing screening at your next physical is a great way to get a snapshot of your hearing health. This screening can help you catch hearing loss early. Hearing loss is often a gradual process, and you might not notice hearing loss for several months or even years. That’s because your brain can adapt to changes in hearing.
Think about the softest sounds you can hear. Are you able to hear the birds chirping outside? Can you hear the hum of the fridge? Can you hear the TV if you don’t turn up the volume? A hearing screening can pinpoint hearing loss even before you realize you have hearing loss.
Did you pass the hearing screening? That’s great, you don’t have hearing loss! Did you fail the hearing screening? Armed with this knowledge, you can book a hearing evaluation with a hearing health specialist, and find out more about your unique hearing loss.
Treating Hearing Loss Early
Treating your hearing loss early has a number of great benefits. Treating mild hearing loss helps you stay physically and socially active. You’ll be able to hear conversations without straining to hear, and you can enjoy social events even if there’s background noise. You can avoid social isolation and reduce your risk of depression.
Treating hearing loss early is also good for your brain. When you treat mild hearing loss, your brain can easily adjust to your new hearing aids. You won’t have to struggle to hear what’s being said, or face the exhaustion that comes with straining to hear. Instead, your new devices will help you catch every word of every conversation. As your hearing loss changes, your hearing aids can be adjusted to match your changing needs.
Hearing loss has also been linked to several other health issues, so hearing loss should be part of your conversation with your doctor. Hearing loss is linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, sleep apnea, an increased risk of falls and hospitalization, and even cognitive decline. With so many linked health concerns, it just makes sense to talk about your hearing health.
Hearing Loss and Quality of Life
Hearing loss also impacts your quality of life. Treating hearing loss can increase your quality of life. Hearing aids help you communicate easily with family and friends. They make it easy to participate in group activities, feel more optimistic, foster strong social connections, be more confident, and have more fun.
How to Talk to Your Provider About Your Hearing
Chances are, your primary care provider will not bring up hearing. As such, it is up to you to start the conversation. Let your provider know that you’d like a hearing screening. You can discuss any symptoms you have or medications you take that could increase the risk of hearing loss. You can also discuss linked health conditions, such as heart disease, or noise exposure you experience at work.
After the hearing screening, you can schedule a comprehensive hearing test with us to find out more about your hearing health. We’ll walk you through your results to show you what sounds you’re missing. If you have hearing loss, we will help you find the perfect hearing devices to treat your hearing loss early.