By Heather Sandy, MA, CCC-A
One of the most common conditions affecting older adults is age-related hearing loss. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports approximately one in three people in the United States between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss. Age-related hearing loss often occurs slowly over time and may be difficult to notice at first. For this reason, it is a good idea to have your hearing tested at the first signs of hearing difficulty.
An Audiologist is the health care professional who can evaluate, diagnose, and manage hearing disorders. If there is any potential medical concern, we may recommend you see your primary care physician or an ear, nose, and throat physician.
If hearing loss is found and hearing aids are an option, the Audiologist is an expert in the selection and fitting of appropriate hearing aids. If you use hearing aids, we recommend a hearing test annually so that we can assure you are receiving maximum benefit from your hearing aids. Modern hearing aids can typically be adjusted to changes in your hearing. Small adjustments to hearing aids can lead to great improvements in communication ability.
Even if hearing aids are not recommended, it is a good idea to monitor your hearing on a regular basis. Gradual changes in hearing are hard to notice in our everyday activities. Some people get very good at lip-reading or guessing at what is being said. An annual hearing test will identify changes before they begin to negatively affect your quality of life.
Untreated hearing loss has been linked to many other health conditions such as cognitive decline, dementia, heart disease, and depression. Monitoring your hearing can ensure timely identification and effective treatment of hearing loss.
Now is a great time to have your hearing checked! Audiology Consultants’ offices are located at 2215 East 52nd St., #2, Davenport, IL: 563-355-7712; 600 Valley View Dr., Moline, IL: 309-517-3889; Unity Point Clinic, 3426 North Port Dr., #500, Muscatine, IL: 563-264-9406; or Hammond Henry Hospital, 600 College Ave., Geneseo, IL: 309-944-9181.