Hearing tests can often be overlooked or put off, but they are just as important as regular check-ups at the doctors or dentists and we should all be going more regularly.
They are particularly important for those aged 60 plus, as according to Age UK more than 71% of over 70-year-olds and more than 41% of over 50-year-olds suffer from some form of hearing loss.
Our hearing is one of the most important of all the senses, but as we get older our ears become more sensitive to damage and the tiny hair cells in the inner ear can suffer general wear and tear.
Loss of hearing could be a sign of a more serious health condition too. It can be a side effect of heart disease, depression, Alzheimer’s and high blood pressure. Arthritis, diabetes and stroke can also be causes of hearing loss, so it’s vital that you or an elderly loved-one has a professional look at your ears and their inner workings to determine whether any hearing loss could mean something more serious. Screenings can also catch any growths in the ear canal.
If you or a loved-one does not yet have any hearing loss, an audiologist will be able to tell if there is a potential risk of causing damage to your hearing in future, for example by listening to the TV too loudly or using headphones set on a volume that is too high. They will be able to recommend a safer setting for you.
Hearing loss can also impact on communication and relationships with family, friends and the general public. Not being able to hear other people can lead an elderly person to become depressed and face social isolation, but booking a hearing test can go a long way to solving these problems easily.
If you or a loved-one have been diagnosed with hearing loss or currently wear a hearing aid, check out our blog on managing hearing loss for the elderly.