We get our eyes checked, we get our teeth checked but we don’t always give our ears the same level of care. The invisible handicap of hearing loss is one that most people tend to put on the back burner. One way can change this is by encouraging our primary care physicians to make this a routine part of their care.
“Hearing loss is one of the most common chronic health conditions and has important implications for patients’ quality of life. However, hearing loss is substantially undetected and untreated.” That was the conclusion in an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The authors recommended that physicians screen for hearing loss during routine physical examinations of their patients over the age of 55. Despite these recommendations, only about 10% of the primary care physicians screen their adult patients for hearing loss.
You can help by encouraging your own doctor to screen for hearing loss. Your doctor may appreciate hearing about the difference good hearing health care has made in your life. Taking away the negative connotations that surround hearing loss is the first step in getting doctors to detect early signs of loss. Studies have shown that on average people wait 7+ years to address their hearing problems. Whether that is their own stubbornness or that they were never made aware by their doctor, this is 7+ years with a loss in quality of life.
2017 has just begun but we should all make a whole hearted effort to put our health at the top of our resolution list. Hearing health can be correlated to a multitude of health problems so getting your hearing checked would be a great start towards improving your well-being.