How do you know you are missing something when you can’t hear it? For people with hearing loss, this problem is very real, and it affects millions of Americans. Hearing loss occurs gradually, sneaks up on people, and the world slowly becomes quieter. When hearing is lost, the negative effects multiply: relationships can suffer, communication breaks down, and even quality of life can be compromised.
Hearing Loss is Under-treated
With about 10% of Americans suffering from a hearing loss, it’s surprising that hearing testing is not a routine part of every physical. However, when a patient sees his physician, there are usually more pressing concerns. The known dangers of high blood pressure, illness, cancer, broken bones, and falls mean hearing loss is not top priority.
Physicians have limited time with each patient, so unless a patient or family member brings up the problem, it often goes unaddressed. For this reason, every person by age 50 should have a baseline hearing test, and a complete hearing test done by a licensed, certified audiologist should be in every person’s medical record.
Benefits of Having a Baseline Hearing Test on Your Record
Having a baseline hearing test to show you have normal hearing benefits you in many ways. A number of years ago, a patient lost some of her hearing in a car accident. However, because there was no prior hearing test to show that the patient had normal hearing, the insurance company did not have to pay her claim. Even if there is not a sudden hearing loss, a dated hearing exam provides a baseline of comparison if hearing begins to waver.
Schedule an Annual Hearing Check with Our Wilmington Audiologists
Monitoring your hearing is as important as seeing your primary care physician, dentist, eye specialist, and podiatrist for an annual checkup. Most insurance plans will pay for a complete audiological evaluation, but some require a referral from your primary care physician.
There are components of a hearing test that involve speech understanding and clarity. The nerve of hearing is tested to see if the loss can be treated medically. The appointment is usually an hour and the results of the hearing test are discussed with you immediately after the evaluation.
What If I Need Hearing Aids?
If the loss is sensorineural, then hearing aids are usually recommended. About 40% of people with hearing loss wear hearing aids, which means that 60% percent of people with hearing loss are missing out on life and important conversations.
Don’t let the cost of hearing aids keep you from having your hearing tested! There are many options available for hearing aids if you need them. Some insurance plans have hearing aid benefits, some offer a discount plan, and most audiological facilities offer a payment plan with no interest.
You should get a hearing test for your medical record, but you should mostly get a hearing test for yourself, so you won’t miss out. Call the number on this page or fill out our online contact form to make an appointment with one of our board-certified audiologists today!