Ask a Medcan audiologist | 3 reasons to (finally) get that hearing test
Putting it off could put your health at risk
Reason 1: Hearing loss can make you accident prone
A study published earlier this year found people with poor hearing are at increased risk for accidents. The researchers tracked self-reported injuries related to driving, work, and leisure or sports.
For all three categories, the risk of injury increased steadily with hearing loss, although slightly less consistently with driving accidents. Over all, compared with those who rated their hearing “excellent,” those with a little trouble hearing were 60 percent more likely to have been injured, with moderate trouble 70 percent more likely, and with a lot of trouble 90 percent more likely. (New York Times, March 27, 2018)
This comes as no surprise to Joan Steinsky, the audiologist at Medcan. “You cannot hear if someone is coming up behind you on the street; warning alarms or your car’s turn signal; or sense where the sound is coming from,” says Steinsky. “This inability to be notified by sounds or localize them can lead to serious safety issues.”
Reason 2: Untreated hearing loss is tied to cognitive decline
As we’ve reported before, subjects with hearing loss had cognitive abilities that worsened faster than those whose hearing was normal.
“These studies support the importance of addressing the problem of under diagnosis and under treatment of hearing loss,” says Steinsky. “Although the brain becomes smaller as we age, shrinkage seems to be fast-tracked in older adults with hearing loss. Those with hearing loss lost more than an additional cubic centimeter of brain tissue each year when compared to those with normal hearing. For individuals over age 60, over one third of the risk of dementia was associated with hearing loss.”
Reason 3: It can harm your emotional health and social interactions
This one may be more obvious to the family and friends of the person with hearing loss. It addresses the emotional impact of hearing loss, such as reduced social interactions, increased relational problems with family and friends, and greater emotional difficulty at work. Conversations are much easier to have, and so it makes sense that hearing aid users say their overall ability to communicate improves.
“Other studies have shown hearing loss can lead to problems with concentration, poor memory, increased social isolation and reduced enjoyment of life,” says Steinsky. “The best advice I can give is to address the under diagnosis and under treatment of hearing loss in adults with your first hearing exam. You won’t regret it.”
To book a comprehensive hearing assessment for you or a loved one please contact our Audiology Team by phone at (416) 642-7729 or email Audiology@medcan.com