Though REM recommends annual hearing tests for anyone over the age of 55, hearing problems can occur at anytime, in any age.
Though the obvious symptoms (such as problems hearing speech in noise, or a decreasing ability to retain spoken or audible information) are often what send people to the audiologist, those who hear fine but fall into certain risk categories should still get their hearing tested.
Exposure to continual noise (whether occupational or recreational), a family history of hearing loss, even certain illnesses and medications can all cause hearing loss down the line.
If you do find yourself struggling with speech in noise and intelligibility, it’s really time to get tested.
Hearing impairment can either be temporary or permanent, and either one requires the attendance of an audiologist. If temporary, the audiologist will walk you through sound dampening options and lifestyle changes so your hearing doesn’t permanently disappear. If permanent, hearing aids or assistive listening devices will be discussed so you’ll be able to accurately maintain and manage your hearing.
No matter what type of loss you have, there’s no reason to assume you won’t be able to participate normally in your every day activities.
No Symptoms, No Risk Factors
Hearing screenings are often encouraged for younger children. According to patient.info, “Hearing loss is not confined to those with risk factors – approximately 40% of all children ultimately identified with sensorineural hearing loss do not have an established risk factor; therefore, universal screening is recommended.”
Hearing tests like these can often be carried out when the child is young, even before release from the hospital a few days after birth, but another hearing screening should also be conducted when the child is a little bit older.
The American Speech-Language Hearing Association says, “School-age hearing screenings are an integral tool in identifying children with hearing loss who were not identified at birth, lost to follow-up, or who developed hearing loss later. Without mandated routine hearing screenings in schools, students with unilateral, less severe or late onset hearing loss may not be identified or will be misdiagnosed and managed.”
Hearing is Important
Your hearing is important, so if you have symptoms, find yourself in several risk categories, or have a child who has never had a hearing screening, we at REM encourage you to come in for a hearing test. It’s always better to test and know than to wonder and worry about a possible hearing loss.