Hearing Health


Hearing Health

Hearing Loss

Hearing Aids

Hearing Healthcare Providers

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Hearing Health

Why is Getting Your Hearing Tested So Important?

No matter where we are, there are sounds that we listen to every day that help us feel connected to the world around us and keep us safe and productive.

Hearing is a crucial part of how we communicate with those around us, including teachers, doctors, professional colleagues, family, and friends. It’s how we can listen to our favorite sounds and music. It’s how we feel connection in our community. While some people recognize they may be experiencing hearing loss, hearing loss can happen so gradually that others may not realize it’s happening. For those who aren’t currently struggling with hearing loss, that doesn’t mean they won’t in the future.

While hearing loss can often be age related, hereditary, or even caused by medications, younger individuals can also experience hearing loss due to prolonged and excessive exposure to loud music and recreational sounds. Hearing loss can affect everyone of all ages, and the fact is hearing loss does not just affect your hearing capability.

Studies have shown that untreated hearing loss increases the risk of other health conditions, such as depression, and may lead to cognitive decline.

In 2020, the Lancet Commission found that untreated hearing loss is the #1 modifiable risk factor for dementia.

Untreated hearing loss can also impact your physical health and safety and may contribute to balance issues.

Further, delaying care can contribute to more difficulty in adapting to hearing aids.

That’s why it’s so important to treat your hearing health like you do your overall health. A hearing healthcare provider can provide an evaluation and baseline hearing test. Then they will work with you to create a plan to address any hearing concerns or schedule regular hearing checks.

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What Happens During a Hearing Test?

When you visit a licensed hearing healthcare professional, you will receive a hearing examination. This examination is relatively simple. Here are some things the hearing aid professional may do during this visit:

  • Evaluate your hearing health, medical history, history of noise exposure, and lifestyle. 
  • Perform an otoscopic examination (view the inside of your ear canal and eardrum).
  • Perform a pure tone test, during which the professional will play sounds at different frequencies and ask you to respond when you can hear them. 
  • Perform a speech test to determine how well you can interpret the sounds you hear.

Upon completing this and other testing, as warranted, the hearing healthcare provider will be able to determine your level of hearing capability and then offer care options, if needed, or make a referral to a physician if indicated.

Hearing loss can be so gradual that it may be hard to notice at first. Annual hearing testing will help those with hearing loss gain a quicker understanding of their hearing ability and take action before symptoms worsen. It is the position of the International Hearing Society that by age 21, all adults should have undergone a hearing evaluation. Thereafter, a hearing evaluation should occur every 3 years or as needed based upon:

  • Decrease in quality of life
  • Change in health status
  • Onset or change of tinnitus
  • Change in hearing
  • Change in balance
  • Onset of or change in vertigo or dizziness
  • Head trauma or related injuries
  • Introduction of or change in ototoxic medications
  • Professional referral 

Ask a Hearing Professional


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When should I get my hearing evaluated?

“Hearing loss is one of those things that everybody needs to pay close attention to - no different than your eyes and vision. Obviously, what we suggest is that someone gets their hearing evaluated once a year…” 

– Michael Andreozzi, BC-HIS
Beltone New England in Warwick, RI, USA


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Why is a routine hearing appointment important? 

“...At those routine appointments, we look into the ear canal, we talk to people about their issues and symptoms they have related to hearing loss and those symptoms can really change over time, so it's important to have regular appointments…” 

– Todd Beyer, ACA, BC-HIS
The Hearing House, LLC. in Marshfield, WI, USA