There is a stigma about having hearing loss. It stems from a belief that this natural process makes you seem ‘old’. This belief can cause people to be reluctant to get their hearing tested,. There are many benefits to having your hearing tested regularly.
Having a hearing test can help you understand your hearing system’s ability today. They say, ‘knowledge is power’. At Hear Well Be Well™, we want you to be an advocate for your own hearing health. We will arm you with the knowledge you need to feel empowered to make decisions.
Having regular hearing tests will help identify whether you have any hearing loss and, if so, to what degree it may exist. During your hearing test, your clinician will talk with you about the impact your hearing ability is having on your lifestyle and relationships. They will offer solutions to help you deal with these implications. Sometimes, they will recommend hearing aids as a solution.
When you are armed with knowledge about your solution options, you can take control over your quality of life.
Hearing loss is gradual
It’s important to know, hearing loss is gradual. Our hearing starts to change in our 40’s. It is so subtle, we often do not recognize the signs immediately. Our brain will tell us we hear the same today as we did yesterday. Thus, we will not acknowledge our gradual hearing loss over the years. Because the process of hearing loss is so gradual, we may tell ourselves it is only circumstance; that other people are not speaking clearly, or that there is too much noise around us. By the time we recognize the issue may be our hearing, and not the circumstances, 20 years may have passed.
Thus, it is our lack of recognition of the presence of the issue in our 40’s that stopped us from addressing the problem when it started. Unfortunately, our hearing does not improve with time, or by leaving it alone to fix itself; hearing loss continues to gradually worsen. Knowing our hearing will naturally start to decline, and that it will continue to decline without intervention, is the reason we recommend having regular hearing tests.
Hearing connects us
Hearing is one of our five major senses that help us understand the world around us. Sound can arouse our emotions: hearing a child laugh or the voice of a loved one. It can trigger our memories: music can magically transport us to another time. Sound also alerts us to the presence of danger, or to the presence of a loved one on the other end of the phone. Hearing connects us, not only to the world, but to one another. Our ability to hear is a wonderful gift, and one we often take for granted.
As humans, we have an instinctive need for social connection with others. Social connections help us develop higher self-esteem and empathy, as well as reduce anxiety, stress, and depression. In fact, social connectedness has a direct influence on improving our immune systems (CMHA, 2019). Hearing well is a vital element of your social connection and an important part of your healthy lifestyle because it helps you stay connected with the people around you.
Hearing loss is normal in adulthood
When working with clients, I find they are comforted to learn that hearing loss is normal in adulthood; that this is not something they caused or could have avoided. In addition to natural biological factors, there are environmental influences, such as noise exposure, that have a direct effect. In this modern world, we are constantly bombarded with noise and our hearing system is unable to be selective about what it wants to hear and what it does not. We do not have ear lids to shut sound out.
Get a baseline test by age 55
Fortunately, some clinics, like Hear Well Be Well, offer a free hearing evaluation. We do this because we believe your hearing is so vital to your overall wellbeing that we do not want affordability to be a barrier to your access to this important health resource. Ideally, we recommend you start by getting a baseline test by the age of 55, then at regular intervals based on your clinician’s recommendation. But it is never too late to start!