Hearing loss can occur at any stage in life. Many people who experience hearing loss aren’t even aware they have a condition. Hearing loss can be a natural part of the aging process or as a result of damaging noise or trauma. People who have experienced heart conditions, stroke, diabetes, head injuries, or who have had adverse effects from certain medications can also fall victim to hearing loss.
It’s important to be proactive in protecting your hearing throughout your life.
To celebrate Better Hearing Month this May, here is a quiz that has been adapted from The American Academy of Otolaryngology in order to “test” your hearing health:
Answer the following questions and then calculate your score:
I have a problem hearing over the telephone.
I have trouble following the conversation when two or more people are talking at the same time.
People complain that I turn the TV volume too high.
I have to strain to understand conversations.
I miss hearing some common sounds like the phone or doorbell ring.
I have trouble hearing conversations in a noisy background, such as a party.
I get confused about where sounds come from.
I misunderstand some words in a sentence and need to ask people to repeat themselves.
I especially have trouble understanding the speech of women and children.
I have worked in noisy environments (such as assembly lines, construction sites, or near jet engines).
Many people I talk to seem to mumble, or don’t speak clearly.
People get annoyed because I misunderstand what they say.
I misunderstand what others are saying and make inappropriate responses.
I avoid social activities because I cannot hear well and fear I’ll make improper replies.
Ask a family member or friend to answer this question: Do you think this person has a hearing loss?
Scoring: Give yourself 3 points for every “Almost always” answer; 2 points for every “Half the time” answer; 1 point for every “Occasionally” answer; 0 points for every “Never” answer.
Add an additional 3 points to your overall score if you have family members with hearing loss.
0-5 points: No action is required.
6-9 points: You seem to have some situations in which your hearing is compromised, and it is therefore advised that you have your hearing checked by an audiologist..
10+ points: Communication with your friends and family is often difficult. A hearing evaluation is strongly recommended.
If you think you might have hearing loss or a hearing issue, discuss with your primary care physician. A referral for an audiologist might be the next best step.
Marilyn O. Reynolds, Au.D.,is a Board Certified Clinical Audiologist with more than 30 years of experience. Her professional interests are in diagnostic hearing evaluations, newborn through geriatric, and hearing aid fitting and counseling to help patients communicate better. She also provides treatment options for tinnitus patients as well as custom earmolds, swim plugs, musician earplugs and specialized ear protection for hunters/shooters. Marilyn can be reached at 508-434-1435.