Why you should consider getting your hearing tested

10 reasons to get your hearing tested

Though many of us are used to getting our sight checked on a regular basis, we often neglect our hearing. Being more aware of the need to protect our hearing, opening-up about difficulties we are experiencing and speaking to our GP or a hearing professional about getting a hearing test is the first step to ensuring we will hear more for longer. We want to empower people with the information they need, so that they can get the right support for them. 

Here are our top 10 reasons to get your hearing checked:

You’re over 50

Deterioration in hearing can be a normal part of ageing. More than 40% of people over 50 years old have hearing loss, rising to 71% of people over the age of 70[1].  If you are over 50, having your hearing checked can help identify any change in your hearing and take steps to address this.

You work in a noisy environment or habitually use earphones

More than half of all hearing loss is preventable[2]. At the same time, hearing loss caused by environmental factors including loud noise and music is increasing[3] If you work in a noisy environment or habitually use earphones, in addition to using hearing protection and taking care in controlling volume levels, a hearing test will help you ensure that your hearing is healthy.

There is a history of hearing loss in your family

Heredity can play a role in whether we will go on to develop hearing problems. If there is a history of hearing loss, tinnitus or other conditions in your family, it is a good idea to get your hearing checked.

Hearing problems are more common than you think

One in six people in the United Kingdom[4] and around one in 12 in France[5] are suspected to have hearing loss. The World Health Organization estimates that by 2050 over 900 million people – or one in every ten people – will have disabling hearing loss and that one third of over 65s will be affected by disabling hearing loss.

You have noticed a change in your hearing

It’s time to talk about hearing loss if you:

  • Find that you often have difficulty hearing other people clearly, particularly women and children
  • Frequently misunderstand what has been said, causing frustration for you or those around you
  • Find it difficult to follow conversations in a group, especially if there is background noise
  • Need to turn up the volume on the TV or radio, or do people complain that it’s too loud?
  • Regularly have to ask people to speak more loudly or clearly

Find out more about the signs and symptoms of hearing loss in babies, children and adults 

It is easier than you think to get a hearing test near you

Once you have decided that you would like to have your hearing tested there are a variety of options available to you. You can speak to your GP to get a referral to a hearing specialist called an audiologist. Alternatively, you might decide to visit a local audiologist based in a private audiology practice or as a hearing specialist in an optical business near you. 

Your local provider will be able to advise on the measures in place to keep you safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Getting your hearing checked helps you to understand what is ‘normal’ for you

If you are over 50, spend prolonged periods in noisy environments either for work or in your leisure time or are a music lover with a history of listening to loud music through headphones then you could benefit from a hearing test to evaluate your hearing and check for damage.

Knowing what is ‘normal’ for you and whether you have sustained any age or noise related hearing loss helps you to be more aware of your hearing, take steps to address it and prevent any future deterioration.

A hearing test is painless

Your hearing professional has a variety of tools and techniques at their disposal to check your hearing. Just like a sight test, a hearing test is painless.

Healthy hearing helps to keep your brain plastic for longer

According to Action on Hearing Loss, many more people could benefit from hearing aids than are currently doing so – only around 40% of people who need hearing aids have them.[6]

Yet, recent research has revealed that people who wear hearing aids to combat age related hearing loss maintain better brain function over time than those who do not.[7]  The results suggest that wearing a hearing aid helps older people retain memories and attention for longer and react faster than those who do not.

A hearing test is the first step to ensuring you hear more for longer

Europe has an ageing population. When you combine this with higher rates of environmental noise and headphone usage it’s clear that figures around hearing loss will continue to increase.[8]

Talking about hearing loss and making time to get our hearing checked in the same way we do with our eyes is the first step to making sure that you maintain healthy hearing and hear more for longer.

Get in touch with your GP or a local audiology provider to arrange a hearing test. There are simple online hearing tests you can try too, which will advise you if you need to have a face-to-face test.

Find out what to expect from your first visit to an audiologist [Link to/embedded video content]

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"If there is a history of hearing loss, tinnitus or other conditions in your family, it is a good idea to get your hearing checked."