Think about the last time you were in a social or group setting. Maybe dinner with friends, your weekly card night, or a pickleball playoff. Now, think about this morning at home. Did you catch the local news on TV or take a surprise phone call from your grandkids? Now, ask yourself, in any of those instances did you:
- Have trouble hearing over the phone
- Find it hard to follow conversations
- Ask people to repeat themselves
- Need to turn up the TV volume so loud that others complained
- Think that others seem to mumble
- Have a problem understanding when women and children spoke to you
In the United States, it’s estimated that one in eight people over the age of 12 has hearing loss in both ears. Despite the prevalence of hearing loss, studies show that only around 20% of those who could benefit from hearing aids actually use them. This can have a significant impact on your quality of life. It’s been shown that hearing loss can lead to social isolation, depression, and cognitive decline.
Some people have a hearing problem and don’t realize it, and the National Institutes of Health recommends seeing your doctor if you or a loved one experience any of these symptoms. Regular hearing tests are recommended for individuals of all ages, but especially if you’re at a higher risk for hearing loss, this includes if you’re older,you have a family history of hearing loss, and if you have a history of noise exposure.