There are over six million people in the United States with hearing loss. Over 65 percent of them are under the age of 65. We don’t recommend that you wait until retirement age. Most people on average wait five to seven years before seeking treatment for their loss. And by that time you’ve developed some cognitive decline, and your risk factors for dementia have gone up to five percent, and your risk for falling as well goes up by five percent.
The risk factors that you should be looking for in regard to your hearing:
1.How are you doing socially?
2.Are you asking people to repeat often?
3.Are you misinterpreting what you thought you heard?
4.Are you answering questions correctly?
Emotionally you may find yourself withdrawing socially from activities and events that you would have enjoyed in the past. Medically, have you been on ototoxic medications? Do you have a family history of hearing loss? All of these factors combined should be a leading indicator to go get that baseline testing.
We recommend that if you’re in the workforce and you’re considering treating your hearing loss that you take that step now. Hearing loss affects thousands of United States workers each year. Your annual income is likely to be 30,000 less, 68 to 70 percent of individuals with hearing loss don’t make it to the age of retirement. It can affect your ability to be promoted or communicate effectively in the workforce.
Hearing aids today are much smaller and more discreet than they were several years ago. So, if you were to actually wear this, you’re not going to see this, you’re going to see this wire and that’s it.
Not every hearing aid will fit every loss. What would work for someone with a low-frequency loss is not going to work for someone with a high-frequency loss. What will work with someone who has a bilateral, symmetrical hearing loss is not going to work for that patient if they have an asymmetrical or one-sided loss. We identify the loss and then recommend the appropriate product.
The hearing evaluation itself takes 45 minutes to an hour. We’ll start off getting your patient history and family history, your work history and exposure to noise and then we’ll perform the testing. All of these testings combined along with your history gives us a very complete look into your hearing health. And it’s also a good way for us to find out if you have some underlying issues such as an auto-immune disorder or an inner-ear disease. If it is found that you do have a hearing loss, it’s extremely important to continue to get the baseline testing done every two years so that we can monitor the loss and your cognitive development.