Hearing Care is Preventative Care: IHS Encourages Hearing Checks During Better Hearing Month

May 15, 2023

FARMINGTON, MICHIGAN — Approximately 48 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss and most of those people wait an average of four to five years before seeking help. Proactive hearing checks and interventions, when appropriate, may help reduce one’s risk of dementia and cognitive decline, and provide other benefits.

If you haven’t had a recent hearing check, International Hearing Society (IHS) provides these guidelines for when/how often individuals should check their hearing:

  • People should get their hearing tested at least every three years.
  • People regularly exposed to noise should have an annual hearing test.
  • People who notice a change in their hearing or develop tinnitus should have their hearing checked as soon as possible.
  • Current hearing aid wearers should have an annual hearing test.

IHS is actively promoting the cause during May, recognized as Better Hearing and Speech Month, as well as throughout the year. Alissa Parady, the Executive Director of IHS, recently underwent a hearing health visit in May and shared her experience.

“The office staff was so welcoming. After completing a short questionnaire, I was introduced to the hearing aid specialist.  We spoke about my health history and hearing challenges, he checked my ears, and then he conducted a hearing evaluation, which took about 20 minutes.  After the hearing test, my hearing aid specialist discussed the results with me and next steps.  These next steps are specific to the individual – for some hearing aids might be the right solution, and the professional can discuss options that align with your needs; for others it might be a referral or a recommendation to come back in a year to get rechecked.  Either way, getting your hearing base line is vital for measuring against your future hearing tests.”

Despite the potential benefits, only one in five individuals who could benefit from a hearing aid actually use one. However, as the acceptance of ear-worn devices grows, people should feel more at ease with their usage. Additionally, approximately 50 million Americans suffer from tinnitus (ringing in the ears), with 90 percent of them also experiencing hearing loss. Parady stressed the significance of caring for one’s hearing for overall health. She pointed out that untreated hearing loss has been linked to an increased risk of dementia, while studies indicate that the use of hearing aids by those who can benefit from them can decrease such risks. Professionally fitted hearing aids also contribute to safety, energy levels, positive relationships, and overall well-being.

IHS Executive Director Alissa Parady with Keith Harrington, BC-HIS, during her annual hearing health check up

To initiate a successful hearing test, individuals should schedule an appointment with a qualified hearing healthcare provider. For those in need of a provider, IHS offers a convenient member directory to locate local hearing aid specialists. Jordan McMillin, BC-HIS, the Secretary of IHS and owner of Beltone, encouraged people not to wait until they suspect hearing loss before seeking assistance. McMillin acknowledged the increased public awareness surrounding hearing care due to news and advertisements about new over-the-counter (OTC) hearing devices entering the market. By visiting a local hearing aid specialist, individuals can determine if they have hearing loss, explore available options, and find tailored solutions to address their unique needs.

Individuals are urged to take action today to protect their hearing and promote hearing health by consulting a hearing healthcare professional nearby. Additionally, they can participate in local campaigns like the Hearing Loss Association of America’s (HLAA) Walk4Hearing, which raises funds to support people with hearing loss.

Team IHS intends to join the Michigan Walk4Hearing event at Kensington Metro Park on May 20, 2023.  Individuals may join IHS or find a local walk by visiting Walk4Hearing – Hearing Loss Association of America.


About the International Hearing Society

The International Hearing Society (IHS) is a membership association that represents hearing healthcare professionals worldwide, including hearing aid specialists. IHS members are engaged in the practice of performing hearing assessments, selecting, fitting, and dispensing hearing instruments, counseling patients, and providing aftercare services. Founded in 1951, IHS protects, represents, and promotes the interests of hearing healthcare and hearing healthcare professionals. For more information visit www.ihsinfo.org.


Source: IHS

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