Hearing loss often occurs gradually over several years. Due to this the early signs of hearing loss are often overlooked as it is human nature to subconsciously adapt and compensate in other ways. Most times family and friends are the first to notice when someone is suffering from hearing loss.
COMMON SIGNS OF HEARING LOSS
Do you complain that people are mumbling?
Do you frequently ask people to repeat what they have said?
Do you have difficulty understanding conversations in a group, in church or other public gatherings?
Do you prefer the television or radio louder than other people?
- Do you have trouble hearing on the telephone?
Do you have trouble understanding people when you cannot see their faces?
Do you have trouble hearing when people speak softly?
Do you avoid being the first person to start a conversation?
Do you avoid social occasions, family gatherings, and noisy environments?
Have you become more impatient, irritable, frustrated, or withdrawn?
The Importance of Routine Hearing Tests
Hearing loss is one of the most prevalent and fastest growing chronic health conditions facing Canadians today. Whether you are an older adult or a child starting school, it is important to have your hearing assessed regularly by a certified audiologist. You do not need a doctor's referral to have your hearing tested.
The hearing test guidelines below have been adapted from various hearing health organizations across North America.
HEARING TEST GUIDELINES
Infancy to Adolescence:
- Newborn hearing screening
- Before starting school
- Annually from kindergarten to grade 3
- Grade 7
- Grade 11
Adults (18 yr. to 55 yr.):
- Every 5-10 years
- Every 2 years for individuals with risk factors for hearing loss (see below)
Older Adults (55 yr. +):
- Every 2 years
*If you have been diagnosed with hearing loss your hearing should be checked annually until your hearing loss is stable. Once your hearing loss is stable you should have your hearing checked every two years.
Common Risk Factors for Hearing Loss
- Occupational noise exposure (e.g. farming, construction, factory work, etc.)
- Recreational noise exposure (e.g. loud music, hunting, motorcycling, etc.)
- Having an immediate family member with hearing loss
- Use of some medications
- Some illnesses (e.g. diabetes, cardiovascular disease, meningitis, etc.)
- Head trauma
For more information on what happens during a hearing test, please click here.