When Should You Consider a Hearing Screening?

If you suffer from hearing loss, you’re usually the last to know.

Hearing loss goes unnoticed because it often occurs so gradually and is painless. But it can hamper your quality of life.

“A lot of times family members will notice it first,” said Vicki Blount, certified clinical audiologist at Memorial Medical Center’s Hearing Center.

  • Some of the telltale signs are:
  • Asking people to repeat themselves
  • Turning the volume up on the television
  • Struggling to hear in noisy environments, such as restaurants
  • Thinking others are mumbling or sound muffled
  • Hearing a ringing in your ears

If a friend or loved one is experiencing these symptoms, it would be a good idea to encourage them to schedule a hearing screening. “If the person has a hearing loss, we recommend retesting every two to three years or sooner if a change is noticed,” Blount said.

People are often reluctant to come in for a hearing test because they’re afraid they’ll be told they need hearing aids. “There’s still a stigma associated with wearing hearing aids,” Blount said. “Most people will be surprised at how much hearing aids have changed.”

Hearing loss can occur at any age but is the third leading ailment among people who are older than 65. More teenagers and children are suffering from hearing loss caused by listening to music.

“Since mp3 players can hold thousands of songs and play for hours without recharging, younger people are listening for longer periods of time,” Blount said. “That’s when hearing damage starts to occur.”

Need to set up a hearing screening? To make an appointment with Memorial’s Hearing Center, 644 N. Second St., Springfield, call (217) 788-3767 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays.