March 24, 2017 -- When should you get a hearing test? Do you have health factors that could lead to hearing loss? This video will assist you in determining when and why you should see a hearing specialist. Contact your local Concept By Iowa Hearing Aid Centers for an appointment for your free hearing exam.
I think it’s very important to remember that hearing loss is a very natural process as we age. However, if you are a smoker or a diabetic, you have a higher risk of developing hearing loss. If you have cardiac disease or even a single cardiac event you have a higher risk of hearing loss. If you have a family history, a hereditary component, if you’ve been exposed to an excessive amount of noise, or if you’ve been exposed to a medicine that is poisonous to the ear, you have a higher risk of hearing loss. If you do not have any of those risk factors and you don’t feel like you struggle, age 60 is when we recommend that you have your first hearing evaluation. If you do have some of those risk factors or feel that you are struggling with communication, you certainly should be evaluated earlier.
The big risk factor is dementia. Johns Hopkins University has done a lot of research regarding the correlation between dementia and untreated hearing loss and they have found a five times greater risk of developing dementia when you have untreated hearing loss.
People with hearing loss start to socially withdraw. They stop participating in activities that maybe they want to participate in because communication is difficult. When you socially withdraw it can lead to depression, anxiety, feelings of embarrassment, shame or guilt. So, it’s very important when you are evaluated and you know you have hearing loss and you’re beginning to struggle, to do something about that sooner than later.
Any sound you hear in your ears, whether it be a ringing, a seashell sound, crickets chirping, locusts, those sounds are called tinnitus. Tinnitus is not a disorder in itself, it’s a symptom. Tinnitus can be associated with migraines, with stress, with blood pressure issues, it can be a side-effect of certain medications. If you have a consistent ringing in your ears, or a pulsing ringing in your ears, that would be a reason to get checked out. But typically, at its root, it’s usually related to hearing loss.
Another reason to come in and have a hearing evaluation sooner than later is if you have any dizziness, any vertigo, spinning sensation in the room. The organ of balance and the organ of hearing are both housed in the inner ear and they can be correlated. Treating your hearing loss not only treats your overall hearing health but your brain health as well.