Many people live with unidentified hearing loss, often failing to realise that they are missing out on certain sounds and words. Taking a hearing test could be the first step towards addressing the issue but more than half (55%) of British adults have never had a hearing test or can’t remember the last time they did.*
In a recent study commissioned by Audacious Mobile, results show that we’re more likely to take care of our eyes than our ears.
Nearly two thirds (61%) of those surveyed had taken an eyesight test in the last year, compared to 19% who’d had a hearing test in the same period.*
A lot of people ignore hearing loss because it happens gradually as we get older, so, understandably, we don’t notice when our hearing is deteriorating or when we might need to get our hearing checked.
How do you know if you need a hearing test?
If you need any more convincing that it’s time to take a hearing test, take a look at the hearing checklist below, from the BBC One Show’s resident Doctor, Sarah Jarvis.
If you can answer yes to any of these it may be a sign you should take a hearing test.
Don’t put it off: three good reasons to get a hearing test
You might have avoided getting a hearing test up until now because of denial or embarrassment of the social stigma of wearing hearing aids, but the truth is, leaving a hearing condition untreated can lead to some further unwanted conditions.
1. Degeneration of brain function
Hearing loss can change the way your brain functions. This is because the part of your brain that processes auditory information may become unable to process the sounds that you hear** – untreated hearing loss may ultimately lead to permanent cognitive changes in the brain. If hearing loss is left untreated for a long time, even if hearing aids are introduced, the brain may have lost its ability to process the sounds you hear – a classic case of use it or lose it!
2. Frustration and stress
When it’s hard to hear, your brain has to work a lot harder to make sense of conversations. You need to use more mental energy, which can leave you feeling tired. Neglecting your hearing can impact on your wellbeing – one in ten Brits experience difficulties hearing on the phone and this breakdown in communication leaves many feeling frustrated (18%) and stressed (17%).*
It can be harder to keep social connections when you can’t hear as well as you’d like. Without regular contact and conversations, hearing loss can lead you to feeling isolated and lonely. One in five (17%) Brits experiencing feelings of isolation as a result of their hearing loss.*
What does a hearing test involve?
If you book a hearing test at an audiology clinic, they will commonly use a machine called an audiometer to play a series of tones through headphones. You will be asked to raise your hand or press a button every time you hear a tone. The hearing test will be repeated several times to assess how you hear different pitches. The results of the test are plotted on a graph called an audiogram to show the pattern of any hearing loss.
When should I take a hearing test?
Just like a regular eyesight test a regular hearing test can help you maintain optimum hearing health throughout your life.
The NHS offers free hearing tests, so if you visit your GP, they may refer you to a hearing specialist who can carry out a test. If you don’t want to wait for an appointment, you could take an online hearing test today.
Where can I take a free online hearing test?
If you find that you’re struggling to hear over the phone, you could take Audacious Mobile‘s online hearing test, the Sound Check. The test specifically measures how you hear over your phone. It might be a good first step for you to see your current hearing level, as well as improve the sound clarity of your mobile calls.
Audacious Mobile is a UK mobile phone network designed for people with hearing loss. Using world-first technology to personalise mobile calls to suit your hearing, enabling people to stay connected.
The free online hearing test provides you with a personal hearing profile which is similar to an audiogram. You could share this with your GP or audiologist if your results may demonstrate that you have a hearing loss or if you are concerned about your results.
How to take the Sound Check:
You just need a computer or tablet and your mobile phone, it’s completely free and it only takes 5 minutes.