Why Don’t Doctors Screen for Hearing Loss?

When was the last time you visited your primary healthcare practitioner for a physical? Chances are, it’s been within the past year or so. Annual physicals become a normal part of our healthcare routine, particularly as we age.

Think of your last physical. It’s likely that your doctor asked how you were. How you were feeling. Likely took measurements including height, weight, blood pressure.

But did they ask you about your hearing? 

There’s a high chance that your hearing did not come up at all. Today, we’re exploring why doctors don’t screen for hearing loss.

Why Don’t Doctors Screen for Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss is often dismissed as a normal part of aging. While age-related hearing loss, or presbycusis, is a common cause of hearing loss, it is not the only one. Unfortunately, this stigma has been around for decades, and is still proving to be challenging in the medical community. As a result, hearing screenings are often not routinely included in annual physicals.

According to a June 2020 National Poll on Healthy Aging, it’s not uncommon for doctors not to ask about their patient’s hearing. According to the poll, only 20% of adults aged between 50-80 reported that their primary care physician asked them about their hearing in the past two years. This rose to 26% for older adults who rated their own hearing ability as fair or poor.

This is a disappointing statistic. Hearing loss can be an indicator of many underlying conditions. Untreated hearing loss can also have wide-reaching implications on our quality of life, as well as our cognitive abilities and mental health.

There are, however, indications that this mindset is shifting. In 2016, the National Academy of Sciences released a report entitled, “Hearing Health Care for Adults: Priorities for Improving Access and Affordability.” One of the recommendations from the report included making hearing screenings more routine.

5 Reasons to Get Your Hearing Checked

Untreated hearing loss impacts more than your ability to hear well. Here are 6 reasons that you should get your hearing checked:

  1. Left untreated, hearing loss could lead to social isolation.
  2. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to cognitive decline.
  3. Hearing loss may be a symptom of an underlying health condition, such as diabetes.
  4. Untreated hearing loss can lead to depression.
  5. Hearing assessments are quick and painless.

It’s clear that hearing loss can have a big impact on you and your loved ones. We recommend that you consider annual hearing assessments as a normal part of your routine healthcare.

With annual hearing assessments, your hearing healthcare specialist will be able to monitor and identify any changes to your baseline hearing. Earlier detection can help minimize the impact on your quality of life. Additionally, hearing aids have been shown to help reduce the potential implications of hearing loss, such as cognitive decline.

Get Your Hearing Checked at Hearing Services of Delaware

Are you ready to book your hearing assessment? The team at Hearing Services of Delaware are here to help! Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our certified hearing care professionals.

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The purpose of this hearing assessment and/or demonstration is for hearing wellness and to determine if the consumer may benefit from using hearing aids, which may include selling and fitting hearing aids. Products demonstrated may differ from products sold. Assessment conclusion is not a medical diagnosis and further testing may be required to diagnose hearing loss. The use of any hearing aid may not fully restore normal hearing and does not prevent future hearing loss. Hearing instruments may not meet the needs of all hearing-impaired individuals.