The Most Neglected Health Test For Men
If you keep increasing the volume on your TV or catch yourself complaining about how everyone else keeps mumbling, listen up: A growing body of research shows that dwindling hearing could be an early tip-off of other conditions, from Alzheimer’s to cardiovascular disease. And here’s the scariest part: Many doctors don’t regularly check their patients’ hearing. A study from Virginia Commonwealth University shows that physicians skip nearly half of all regular evaluations at yearly checkups, and one of the most routinely missed tests is the hearing exam, it gets bypassed nearly 70 percent of the time. “It’s so important to regularly get a hearing test because all too often people don’t know that they have a problem,” says Ellen Finkelstein, M.D., an audiologist in New York City. (You should also be sure to avoid The Biggest Threat to Your Hearing.)
Here are four reasons why you should speak up and ask for a hearing test at your next appointment:
1.) Hearing loss can mean a higher risk of Alzheimer’s. People who are hard of hearing are more likely to develop cognitive conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia, according to a study from the National Institute of Aging. And the worse your hearing is, the higher your risk: For every 10 decibels of hearing loss, the chance of developing Alzheimer’s increases 20 percent. How come? Experts believe that hearing loss is a result of nerve damage in the body, and nerve damage in the ears can be a sign of damage in other places, like the brain. To protect yourself from the disease, check out the story, How to Ward Off Alzheimer’s.
2.) It could be a red flag for cardiovascular disease. Having trouble hearing low-frequency sounds could be a sign that something’s not right with your heart. The inner ear is made up of tons of sensitive blood vessels that are so sensitive, in fact, that any changes with them, like hearing loss, could be an early sign of bigger blood vessel issues in the body, i.e., cardiovascular disease.
3.) Problems with hearing can lead to depression. Italian researchers found that people ages 35 to 55 with mild to moderate symptoms of hearing loss were much more likely to experience psychological distress. And it doesn’t stop there: Another survey of 2,300 adults over the age of 50 found that those with untreated hearing loss were much more likely to feel depressed, anxious, and alone. “Not being able to hear correctly has a profound effect on your body and your emotional well-being,” says Dr. Finkelstein. When you can’t hear, you tend to isolate yourself from the people and things you enjoy.
4.) An exam could spot cancer. A hearing test isn’t only important to catch issues with your hearing, but it can help spot tumors, too. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found a suspect mole or precursor to skin cancer on or around the ear,” says Dr. Finkelstein. It’s hard to really examine your own ear or notice a new mole there, she says.
If you suspect yourself or someone you love may be experiencing hearing loss, don’t wait, take the first step and call Desert Hearing Care today at (480) 985-2544, to schedule your FREE, no charge or obligation, patient-centered hearing evaluation to find out what is best for you. You can also schedule your free consultation online