If you’re proactive about your health and well-being — and more of us are today than ever before — then you may already test your hearing regularly.
But if you don’t and you want to know why you should, keep reading.
Benjamin Franklin famously said “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Even if you don’t know the saying, it’s most likely a philosophy you put into practice in many aspects of your life.
You get your teeth cleaned twice a year in hopes of warding off future cavities. You take your car in for oil changes and tune-ups to ensure it stays in optimal driving condition for as long as possible. You check your eyes, get physicals and blood labs, roto-root your sewer and have your HVAC system inspected and serviced regularly — all because those things are enormously important, and issues with them can be awfully consequential.
We should approach our hearing the same way. It can be enormously important to us, and its impact reaches beyond just our ears.
Hear better, live better
We’ve always believed that when you hear better you live better. It’s why we made it our tagline. Hearing your best keeps you connected and informed, safe and engaged, confident and independent. Hearing your best can enhance relationships with friends and family, and make listening to music, watching TV and movies, and partaking in nature, activities and events more enjoyable and immersive. As one of only five senses we have, hearing is enormously important to us.
Untreated hearing loss is not a good idea
Research shows, on the other hand, that hearing loss left untreated is linked to numerous consequential issues, like decreased cognitive function, higher incidences of hospitalizations, depression and falls, and increased risk of social isolation and dementia.
You can see why staying on top of your hearing health is a wise and desired practice.
Yet for many of us, the last time we had our hearing checked was, well, probably a long time ago. Consumer Reports notes that 30 percent of people have gone more than a decade without getting their hearing tested, or have never had it tested at all!
Instead, many wait until they have difficulty before getting their hearing tested. Even then, on average, people wait 10 years before seeking help. Could you imagine living with high cholesterol or high blood pressure or diabetes for a dozen years before taking action?
Being proactive is easier than you think
All this is points back to the blog title — regular hearing checkups are a good idea. And if you work in a noisy environment or participate in hobbies or activities where sound is notoriously loud, regular hearing checkup are especially smart.
There are free hearing screenings you can take online as often as you like. Of course you also can and should find a local hearing professional (just as you found a dentist and doctor and chiropractor and…) — one who has the diagnostic tools and expertise to keep tabs on your hearing and help you if needed.
That same Consumer Reports article referenced above points out that “most insurance — including Medicare — will cover the cost of a comprehensive exam” as long as you get a referral from your doctor.
Early treatment may help prevent later issues
No matter our age, early detection of health concerns offers the best options for treatment and better overall health, and our hearing health is no different. As Benjamin Franklin also wisely said, “Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.”