The importance of having your hearing tested regularly

January 26, 2015 by Wenna D'Costa

Évaluation de l'audition

Healthy ears allow us to communicate with those around us and help keep us safe by alerting us to danger. However, most people take their hearing for granted, and fewer ever consider the possibility of losing their hearing entirely.

Did you know that more than one million Canadians, including children, have hearing problems? Furthermore, according to an article published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, nearly 15 % of school-age children present hearing problems.

A number of factors such as ear infections, prolonged exposure to loud noise, and age can affect our ability to hear and understand. That’s why regular hearing evaluations are recommended.

Children

Auditory screening is recommended for children at birth. Later, if you notice your child often asks people to repeat themselves, tends to speak loudly, turns up the TV, or simply does not react to sounds in the environment, you should consult an audiologist. A hearing evaluation will show whether your child has a hearing loss—something that is important to detect since it could interfere with your child’s language development.

Subsequently, you should have your child’s hearing assessed before starting elementary school, since hearing difficulties can negatively impact learning. Furthermore, children with mild or unilateral hearing loss are reportedly at greater risk of experiencing difficulties at school and have a failure rate of 37 %.

Adults

According to available statistics, more than 400,000 workers in Quebec are exposed to noise levels that could potentially harm their hearing. Are you one of them? If so, you should have your hearing tested every two years. This will ensure a proper monitoring in the case you have a hearing loss.

It is also a good time to see an audiologist around the age of 50, as age-related hearing loss is progressive. In order to monitor any changes in your hearing, a follow-up should be done every two years thereafter or as recommended by the audiologist.

If you suspect you or someone you know may be experiencing hearing loss, consult an audiologist.
References :
-NISKAR, A.S., et al. (1998). “Prevalence of hearing loss among children 6 to 19 years of age: The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey,” The Journal of the American Medical Association, 279(14): 1071-1075.
-ROSS, D.S., et al. (2008). “Hearing Screening and Diagnostic Evaluation of Children with Unilateral and Mild Bilateral Hearing Loss,” Trends in Amplification, 12(1): 27–34.
-THARPE, A.M. (2007). “Minimal Hearing Loss in Children: The Facts and the Fiction,” in Sound Foundation Through Early Amplification, retrieved from
http://www.phonak.com/content/dam/phonak/b2b/Pediatrics/webcasts/pediatric/
com_31_p61899_pho_kapitel_18.pdf