The importance of hearing tests

It's important for seniors to correct their hearing. Becky Crowe, Hearing Technician from Complete Family Medicine, stopped by the set of Good Morning Heartland to talk more about it. WATCH VIDEO ABOVE to learn more.

Question: Why is it important for seniors to correct their hearing?

Answer:Hearing loss is a gradual decrease in how you can hear. Approximately one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 have difficulty hearing. Having trouble hearing can make it difficult to understand doctors, respond to warnings such as horns and alarms. It can also make it hard to enjoy talking with friends and family. I see a lot of people realizing communication with their spouse and grand kids is difficult or even watching TV. It is important to correct your hearing for safety, relationships, and mental well being.

Question: What causes people to loss their hearing?

Answer: Hearing loss happens for different reasons. Many people lose their hearing slowly as they age, this is known as presbycusis.Noise induced hearing loss is another reason which is due to many years of exposure to loud noises. Many construction workers, farmers, yard workers, truckers, musicians, and people in armed forces are affected by this. A lot of people don't realize that by protecting your ears with ear plugs or head phones can reduce your chances of loss for much longer.Hearing loss can also be caused by viral and bacterial infections along with several other health conditions. It is recommended if you are over the age of 50 to have a hearing test done once a year. If you have had exposure to loud noises for many years, an infection, or notice you are having trouble it is a good idea to have a hearing test even if you are under 50.

Question: Besides age, when should we be tested for hearing loss and how are people's daily lives affected by hearing loss?

Answer:Many people who can't hear well think they hear fine because they have adjusted to the loss over time. It is important that those around them help them identify this. Hearing should be tested if you are noticing a struggle with hearing alarms or phones, someone talking on the phone, traffic, and understanding the TV. Also if you are having difficulty with communication such as hearing whispering, understanding people in a large room or public place such as ordering food, noticing others speech is unclear or having difficulty understand when you can't see someones face (people learn to read mouths to help make sense of speech). People tend to think if someone talks louder or turns up the volume it will solve the problem, however when someone has hearing loss they begin to lose hearing in the high frequencies first which are things like birds and women voices and certain letters such as f, s, th, and k letters, so they may hear half of what you say and are having to put the rest of the pieces together. Hearing loss affects communication and interaction with others. People need that stimulate to live a day to day life. Without it can affect peoples mental health, physical health and safety. People with hearing loss may feel depressed, fear, anger, guilt, low self-esteem and increase isolation. Most people tend to enjoy the most in a day their loved ones and we do this through communication and interaction.

Question: Are there ways people can protect their ears to prevent hearing loss and how do you know when protection is needed?

Answer: If you have to raise your voice to be heard, you are in a potentially hazardous environment for your hearing. Lawn mower or motorcycle is another example. It is very important to protect your ears by wearing earmuff or ear plugs. Many people will say they use ear buds and listen to music when they mow but all you are doing is drowning one sound with a louder one that is actually louder as it is closer to your ear drum. If you are in an environment that is hazardous it is important to take 15 minute breaks.

Question: Tell us more about the hearing tests done at Complete Family Medicine.

Answer: It only takes about 7 minutes to do the hearing test. We offer a lot of education as well as a hearing aid fitting for those interested and candidates. It gives people a chance to walk around the clinic and outside to see the difference and how they may benefit from it. We encourage people to bring a loved one to communicate with since that is the voice they are generally missing everyday.

Complete Family Medicine
1611 S. Baltimore

Kirksville, MO. 63501