Every year brings on new health tests – depending on your age, of course. But it seems the older we get, the more medical testing that must be done on an annual basis. From physicals to colonoscopies and bone density tests, you start feeling like you’re simply a test subject.
But annual tests, especially when we age, are important. They give us a glimpse of our health, and they can catch illnesses early on so treatment or intervention can be started right away. Remember that early detection is your best defense!
Even though you get a lot of testing done annually, there is probably one test you’re not getting – but it can make a huge difference to your health.
The Vital Yearly Test You’re Not Getting
So, what test is your doctor leaving out? A hearing test. In fact, if you’re over the age of 50, it’s recommended you check your hearing every year. Why? Well, not only is there a strong correlation between aging and hearing loss, but seniors have the highest percentage of hearing impairment.
There are many types when it comes to hearing loss and many people do not even report hearing impairment as they simply don’t notice a drastic change in their hearing. But you don’t have to lose your hearing to have hearing loss…
Signs That You Have Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can be very subtle, and so people may be able to live their normal lives completely unaware that their hearing is deteriorating. This is why annual hearing tests are so important. Not only can they spot changes in hearing, but means of prevention can be implemented to deter hearing loss.
Factors of Hearing Loss
There are many factors to consider when dealing with hearing loss in seniors. Besides age, determinants including gender, family history, race, and occupation all play a role.
Although you may know the risks of hearing loss, without proper testing you won’t know for sure the severity or how your hearing measures up.
Side Effects of Hearing Loss That Will Surprise You
Cognitive decline is one of the most serious examples of the side effects that can come with hearing loss. Studies are currently still being done to find the relationship between hearing loss and brain health, but researchers are making great strides. Evidence shows that some conditions known to be connected with aging, such as memory loss, might really be caused by hearing decline.
Although it may not seem possible, gut problems have been linked with hearing loss. Some examples of side effects include upset stomach, muscle tension, and anxiety. Hearing loss may also cause long-term stress which can manifest intestinal problems such as diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal cramps.
Dizziness And Vertigo
People with hearing loss may find they also have increased bouts of dizziness and vertigo. Taking away hearing creates an imbalance in the way the inner ear and brain communicate. Because of this, the brain tries to make up for what it has lost and takes energy away from other areas.
Depression and Mental Health Issues
One of the most obvious side effects of hearing loss is the impact it has on mental health. Studies show that hearing loss is linked to an increase in depression in adults below the age of 70. Untreated hearing loss has also been connected to many mental conditions such as social withdrawal, irritability, anger, and lack of focus.
Hearing loss can affect much more than just physical and mental health. People with poor hearing tend to report more problems in personal relationships compared to those with full hearing. Partners often report feeling neglected if not heard, and those with hearing loss feel left out of some daily activities partners would normally do together.
Consequences of Hearing Loss
The consequences of hearing loss don’t just affect your hearing. It affects your mental state and overall well-being. Hearing loss has been tied to social isolation, which we know can greatly impact health. Hearing loss can also affect your ability to work, understand others and enjoy life, like listening to music or even the voices of loved ones.
These are all areas that can harm your health. It’s vital then to stay up to date with your ability to hear.
If you’re over the age of 50, get your hearing checked annually. I can’t stress this enough! This can gauge the level of your hearing and uncover any impairment that may occur year after year.
Although hearing loss caused by aging can’t be stopped, you can slow down the impairment. Such practices like avoiding loud noises or wearing protective ear gear can deter further hearing loss.
So if you want to preserve your hearing as you age, start adding hearing tests to your annual roster of medical exams.