Test your hearing health


May is Better Hearing Month and according to the American Academy of Audiology, approximately 36 million Americans suffer from hearing loss. More than half of the people with hearing loss are younger than age 65. One in three people over the age of 60 has hearing loss and that statistic increases to one in two people for those over the age of 85.

Hearing loss due to aging can be made worse by other factors such as diabetes, poor circulation, noise exposure and certain medications.

People with untreated hearing loss (those with hearing loss who do not wear hearing aids) experience a decreased quality of life. Untreated hearing loss can lead to sadness, depression, anxiety, paranoia and poor social relationships.

Hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the United States. Take a few moments to take the following test to check your hearing health.

Hearing Health Quick Test

Do you find it difficult to follow a conversation in a noisy
restaurant or crowded room?
 Yes    No    Sometimes

Do you feel that people are mumbling or not speaking clearly?
 Yes    No    Sometimes

Do you experience difficulty following dialog in the theater?
 Yes    No    Sometimes

Do you find it difficult to understand a speaker at a public meeting or a religious service?
 Yes    No    Sometimes

Do you find yourself asking people to speak up or repeat themselves?
 Yes    No    Sometimes

Do you find men’s voices easier to understand than women’s?
 Yes    No    Sometimes

Do you experience difficulty understanding soft or whispered speech?
 Yes    No    Sometimes

Do you have difficulty understanding speech on the telephone?
 Yes    No    Sometimes

Does a hearing problem cause you to feel embarrassed when meeting new people?
 Yes    No    Sometimes

Do you feel handicapped by a hearing problem?
 Yes    No    Sometimes

Does a hearing problem cause you to visit friends, relatives or neighbors less often than
you would like?
 Yes    No    Sometimes

Do you experience ringing or noises in your ears?
Yes    No    Sometimes

Do you hear better with one ear than the other?
Yes    No    Sometimes

Have you had any significant noise exposure during work,
recreation or military service?
Yes    No    Sometimes

Have any of your relatives (by birth) had a hearing loss?
Yes    No    Sometimes

Scoring:
2 points for Yes
1 point for Sometimes
No points for No

Score of 3 or more:
May mean that you have
a hearing problem.

Score of 6 or more:
Strongly suggest
that a hearing check
is warranted.

One way of treating age-related hearing loss is with hearing aids. Modern hearing aids are digital microcomputers that can automatically adjust to sound thousands of times per second, making speech comfortable and natural sounding. For more information on audiology and hearing loss, visit howsyourhearing.org.

Information courtesy of the American Academy of Audiology.

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