Our sense of hearing plays a key role in our overall health and wellbeing. While poor hearing and ear health can have serious lifelong negative effects if they are not managed correctly. Consequently, an annual hearing test is imperative for every Australian, regardless of age. It is very easy for all of us to overlook our hearing health if we do not feel as though we are struggling or needing hearing care. Although, regular hearing checks are just as important as regularly seeing your general practitioner or dentist.
There are numerous reasons why we should all have regular hearing checks. First, hearing loss can be the result of another underlying health concern, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or a heart disease. Disorders that effect the blood circulation to parts of the body, including the organ of hearing, can cause a permanent hearing loss than cannot be reversed. Therefore, it is important that your hearing is regularly monitored to ensure that your health conditions are not impacting on your ears and listening.
Annual hearing assessments can allow you and your hearing care provider to have a baseline understanding of your hearing. Many people tend to only have a hearing test when they suddenly notice a change to their hearing, or they are really struggling to hear. If we have a baseline understanding of your hearing, then we can track and measure changes as they occur to achieve a more accurate diagnosis and treatment. For example, unfortunately there is a high incidence of something called a sudden onset sensorineural hearing loss. This means there has been rapid loss of hearing in one or both ears in the matter of hours or days. We often do not know why this has occurred, although, the correct treatment of this hearing loss depends on being able to measure how much the hearing has changed. This is difficult to do if we do not know your baseline hearing or if you had a pre-existing hearing loss that had not been measured.
Additionally, if you are aware that you have a hearing loss, it is imperative that you monitor your hearing annually to ensure your hearing loss is not changing or progressing. This annual hearing test could alert the hearing care professional to any potential dangers such as noise-induced hearing loss, ear wax buildup or even a tumour on the hearing nerve. If changes to your hearing are measured and treated early, we may be able to prevent further damage.
Lastly, an untreated hearing loss can affect the function of our brain and cognition. If a hearing loss is left untreated for too long, our ears experience something called auditory deprivation. This means that the hearing nerve is not stimulated, and it forgets how to process auditory information. Therefore, the brain is not receiving information to remain healthy and active. Research has shown that this auditory deprivation can lead to cognitive decline and possibly dementia. Hearing loss is a slow and gradual process, which you may not notice at the beginning. Annual hearing tests mean that you are carefully monitoring your hearing with a hearing care professional.
If you are due for your annual hearing test, EAR STUDIO offers a comprehensive hearing assessment to assess all parts of the hearing and understanding process. They are also able to map the changes to your hearing over many years each time your return for your annual hearing test. To book an appointment head to our website https://earstudio.com.au or call (02) 9159 6122 to speak to one of our staff today.