Independent Audiology: Men and women should have a hearing test

Do you ask people to repeat? Do people sound like they are mumbling? Do you raise the volume of the TV? You are not alone.

Men’s Health magazine reports: A growing body of research shows that hearing loss could be an early tip-off of other conditions, from Alzheimer’s to cardiovascular disease. And here’s the scariest part: Many doctors don’t regularly check their patients’ hearing. A study from Virginia Commonwealth University shows that physicians skip nearly half of all regular evaluations at yearly checkups, and one of the most routinely missed tests is the hearing exam — it gets bypassed nearly 70 percent of the time.

Audiologist Dr. Kelly Halligan of Independent Audiology in Wellington recommends that everyone have a hearing test at age 50 (or earlier if symptomatic), and annually thereafter.

There are many good reasons to have a hearing test by a Certified Audiologist:
Hearing loss can mean a higher risk of Alzheimer’s. People who are hard of hearing are more likely to develop cognitive conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia, according to a study from the National Institute of Aging. According to their research, for every 10 decibels of hearing loss, the chance of developing Alzheimer’s increases 20 percent. The greater the hearing loss, the greater the risk.

How come? When people can’t hear well, they tend to ‘drop out’ of conversations. And the research shows that nerve damage in the ear is a sign of nerve damage in the brain, states Dr. Halligan.

Hearing loss can also be a sign of cardiovascular disease. Men’s Health reports: The inner ear is made up of tons of sensitive blood vessels that are so sensitive, in fact, that any changes with them, like hearing loss, could be an early sign of bigger blood vessel issues in the body, i.e., cardiovascular disease.

Untreated hearing loss can also lead to depression. Men’s Health surveyed 2,300 adults over the age of 50 and found that those with untreated hearing loss were much more likely to feel depressed, anxious, and alone.

Call Dr. Halligan at 970-817-2300 today and schedule your hearing screening.

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