Time to finally get that hearing test

It's the time of year when we all start thinking about ways to better ourselves or improve our lives.  Some people promise to be more active, change their eating habits, or stop doing something they feel is not good for them.  If you suspect or have been told that you may have an undiagnosed or untreated hearing loss, there is no better time to do this.

1 in 6 of the population suffer from hearing impairment (World Health Organisation) and very often it is noticed by other members of your family.   When you get to your 65th birthday, 30% will have some hearing trouble, and between 70-90% of over 80-year-olds experience hearing loss (Chien et al 2012; Weinstein Geriatric Audiology, 2000).  As we all know it makes sense to look after what you have before you lose it, and this is no different.

People with untreated hearing loss are more likely to suffer from social withdrawal, depression and cognitive impairment (Kiely et al 2013; Lin et al 2011).  Untreated hearing loss has been shown to make the symptoms of these ailments worse for several hearing-related reasons, suggests Lin.

To examine hearing further we must realise that there are two aspects overlooked by most people.  The first is hearing and the second is listening.  “None is so deaf than those that will not hear” was said by the Welsh theologian Matthew Henry.  What he most likely was referring to were people that do not listen.  These two aspects are very different.  Let me explain.

Hearing is passive and requires little cognitive effort, or “brainpower”.  When the phone rings or the dog barks, it takes little effort to recognise the phone or dog.  Listening is very different.  Listening requires intention and attention.  These two features are cognitively heavy, in other words, they require more “brain energy”.  This is one of the reasons people feel exhausted when they are trying to keep up with the conversation in a group, or amongst interfering noise. 

This exhaustion point is termed “cognitive overload” and can be objectively measured in a few ways. Connect Hearing measures not only your hearing but your listening also, as this is an integral part of a person’s connection with family and friends.

If you finally feel that this is the year you should deal with your hearing, call us now to have your hearing checked and look at the range of solutions that make sense for you.