Listen Up! Better Hearing Leads to Better Health

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Millennium Physician Group- FL

For more information about the author, click to view their website: Millennium Physician Group

Posted on

Jul 12, 2023

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Florida - Sarasota, Bradenton & Charlotte Counties , Florida - Southwest

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Listen Up! Better Hearing Leads to Better Health

TAKE THIS AT-HOME HEARING TEST

Think about the last time you were in a social or group setting. Maybe dinner with friends, your weekly card night, or a pickleball playoff. Now, think about this morning at home. Did you catch the local news on TV or take a surprise phone call from your grandkids? Now, ask yourself, in any of those instances did you: 

  • Have trouble hearing over the phone 
  • Find it hard to follow conversations 
  • Ask people to repeat themselves 
  • Need to turn up the TV volume so loud that others complained 
  • Think that others seem to mumble 
  • Have a problem understanding when women and children spoke to you 

In the United States, it’s estimated that one in eight people over the age of 12 has hearing loss in both ears. Despite the prevalence of hearing loss, studies show that only around 20% of those who could benefit from hearing aids actually use them. This can have a significant impact on your quality of life. It’s been shown that hearing loss can lead to social isolation, depression, and cognitive decline. 

 Some people have a hearing problem and don’t realize it, and the National Institutes of Health recommends seeing your doctor if you or a loved one experience any of these symptoms. Regular hearing tests are recommended for individuals of all ages, but especially if you’re at a higher risk for hearing loss, this includes if you’re older,you have a family history of hearing loss, and if you have a history of noise exposure. 

TEST YOUR HEARING AT HOME

If you’re not really sure if you’re hearing has gotten worse lately, even before you make that appointment with your doctor, a hearing test is an easy first step. And you can even get the ball rolling by taking a simple one over the phone from the comfort of your own home. The National Hearing Test is easy and convenient, and your results are confidential. The test is $8 or AARP members can take a free test. 

The National Hearing Test is a screening test you can take over the telephone. You’ll listen to three-digit sequences presented in a background of white noise and then enter the digits using your phone keypad. The first of its kind in the US, the test was developed with funding from the National Institutes of Health with the goal of giving you information to help you decide if you should seek a full-scale evaluation. 

MEDICARE MAY COVER YOUR HEARING EVALUATION

If you’re covered by Medicare, it’s important to note that Medicare Part B covers diagnostic hearing and balance exams when ordered by a physician or other qualified healthcare professional. Medicare may cover hearing aids in some cases, but coverage can be limited. Medicare Advantage plans may offer additional coverage for hearing aids and related services. It’s important to review the specific details of your Medicare coverage to understand what is and isn’t covered. 

Regardless of insurance coverage, it’s important for individuals to prioritize their hearing health and get regular hearing tests. By catching hearing loss early on, individuals can take steps to manage and treat it, reducing the impact it has on their daily lives. 

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Hearing Loss in Older Adults: What to Know, How to Treat It

Hearing loss in older adults is a common concern. Age-related hearing loss affects approximately one in three adults ages 65 to 74, according to the National Institutes of Health. Nearly half of those ages 75 and older have some hearing loss.Age-related hearing loss can have serious consequences. Seniors with hearing loss can misunderstand or not hear a doctors advice, may not respond to warnings, or may fail to hear doorbells, phone calls and smoke alarms. Loss of hearing may also isolate seniors, making it hard to enjoy times with family and friends.Find out what you should know about hearing loss in older adults, how it affects overall health, and how caregivers can help those who have trouble hearing.Signs of Hearing Loss in Older AdultsSome people may have hearing loss without realizing it, instead thinking that people are not talking clearly enough or that the TV is too soft. Here are some signs that may indicate hearing loss:Asking people to repeat what theyre saying Failing to hear when children or women are speaking to youFeeling background noise is drowning out voicesFinding it hard to follow conversations when more than one person is speakingHaving trouble hearing a telephone conversationNeeding to turn up the volume on the TV, enough so that people complainThinking that other people are mumblingFor caregivers, they may think that their loved ones are confused, uncooperative or unresponsive, when in fact they dont hear well.How Hearing May Affect Senior HealthA study by the NIH shows that seniors with hearing loss have a greater chance of developing dementia, although not everybody will be diagnosed with it. However, hearing loss and cognitive decline in older adults are connected, causing problems with memory and concentration.>> Read Detecting Alzheimers Symptoms & StagesTypes of Hearing LossThere are many levels and types of hearing loss. Hearing loss may range from mild, which can interfere with high-pitched sounds like the voices of children and women, to profound, when only very loud sounds can be heard.Here are some specific types of hearing loss that affect seniors.Age-related hearing loss  This loss is called presbycusis. This is a gradual loss of hearing, usually runs in families and can occur because of changes in the inner ear or auditory nerve. People with this type of loss may not realize they are losing their hearing.Sudden hearing loss  Sudden deafness can happen all at once or over a period of a few days. This is a medical emergency, and seniors suffering such a sudden loss should visit a doctor immediately.Tinnitus  This hearing loss is common in older people. 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Other causes, like infection, injury, heart condition or stroke, may be to blame. Heredity  Some causes show up at birth, but some become apparent later in life, such as structural defects.Loud noises  This is one of the most common causes of hearing loss, from industrial equipment to loud music. Medications  Some drugs used to treat cancer or heart diseases are ototoxic, which means they may damage the inner ear, sometimes permanently.  Physical causes  This can include earwax, fluid or a punctured eardrum.Prevention of Hearing LossAge-related hearing loss is inevitable at some level, but there are things you can do to prevent the hearing loss from worsening. Avoid loud soundsMaintain a healthy lifestyleUse ear protectionYou should also alert your health professional of any changes in hearing or if new medications cause hearing problems.Treatment of Hearing LossIts important to address hearing problems so the loss doesnt get worse. You should see a doctor to assess any hearing loss. You should start with your primary care physician, who may be able to assess changes, will have a full record of your medications and can refer you to a specialist.Audiologist  These health professionals identify and measure the degree and type of hearing loss. They may also fit hearing aids.Otolaryngologist  This doctor specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the ear, nose, throat, and neck. Theyre sometimes called an ENT.If you have correctable hearing loss, your options may include:Assisted listening devices  There are cellphone gadgets or apps that can help amplify sounds. Closed-circuit systems in theaters, auditoriums and other public spaces can help, too.Bone-anchored hearing systems  These bypass the middle ear and convert sounds to vibrations that are sent through your skull bone to your inner ear.Cochlear implants  These are small electronic devices surgically implanted in the inner ear. 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Here are ways to ask for help, and how you can help somebody who has hearing loss.What You Should Tell People About Your Hearing LossLet people know you have some difficulty hearing, and then:Ask them to face you and speak slowly and clearly.Have them talk to you in a quieter place.Let the person know if you do not understand what they are saying.Request that they reword a sentence if youre having difficulty.Tell them to speak up a bit but not yell.How You Can Help Somebody With Hearing LossIf youre talking to someone who has hearing loss, this is what you can do to help them:Be patient, stay positive and relax.Dont hide your mouth, chew gum or eat while speaking.Face the person and maintain eye contact while you speak clearly.Find a quiet place to talk to help reduce background noise.Include people with hearing loss in your group conversations.Speak more loudly than normal, but dont shout. 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Exploring Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids: A Solution for Improved Hearing with RxHearing

Hearing loss is a common condition that affects millions of people around the world. If you've noticed changes in your hearing and are considering options for improving your auditory experience, over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids may be a viable solution. In this article, we will explore the concept of OTC hearing aids, discuss their benefits and considerations, and highlight RxHearing as a trusted provider for obtaining quality OTC hearing aids.Understanding Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids1-      Accessibility and Convenience: OTC hearing aids are designed to provide individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss with affordable and accessible options. Unlike traditional hearing aids, which require a prescription and fitting from a hearing healthcare professional, OTC hearing aids can be purchased directly without the need for a medical evaluation or professional consultation. This convenience allows individuals to take charge of their hearing health and obtain aids at their own discretion.2-      FDA Regulations and Standards: In 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) introduced a new category of hearing aids known as OTC hearing aids. The FDA's regulations ensure that OTC hearing aids meet specific safety and performance standards. While they may not offer the same level of customization and advanced features as prescription hearing aids, OTC options can still provide significant benefits for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss.Considerations for Choosing OTC Hearing Aids         Self-Assessment of Hearing Loss: Before considering OTC hearing aids, it's important to assess the nature and severity of your hearing loss. OTC options are generally suitable for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss. If you suspect you have severe or profound hearing loss, it is recommended to consult with a hearing healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation and appropriate recommendations.         Familiarity with Hearing Aid Technology: OTC hearing aids require users to be comfortable with the technology and be able to adjust settings according to their preferences. While many OTC devices come with user-friendly controls and instructions, it is essential to consider your comfort level with technology and your ability to navigate the features and settings of the device.         Realistic Expectations: OTC hearing aids may not provide the same level of customization and tailored fit as prescription hearing aids. It's important to set realistic expectations regarding the performance and capabilities of OTC devices. However, for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss who are looking for affordable and accessible options, OTC hearing aids can still offer significant benefits.Why Choose RxHearing for Over-the-Counter Hearing AidsRxHearing stands out as a reputable provider of OTC hearing aids, offering a range of quality options to suit various hearing needs. Here are some reasons to consider RxHearing:         Extensive Selection: RxHearing offers a diverse range of OTC hearing aids, allowing individuals to find the best fit for their specific hearing requirements. Their wide selection ensures that you can choose a device that aligns with your preferences, lifestyle, and budget.         Professional Support: While RxHearing provides OTC hearing aids, they also understand the importance of professional guidance. Their team of experienced audiologists is available to provide virtual consultations and expert advice, ensuring that you make an informed decision based on your unique hearing needs.         Convenience and Confidence: With RxHearing, you can conveniently order OTC hearing aids online and have them delivered to your doorstep. This eliminates the need for in-person visits and provides a hassle-free shopping experience. Plus, knowing that RxHearing adheres to FDA regulations and standards gives you confidence in the quality and safety of their products.In closing, over-the-counter hearing aids present a convenient and accessible solution for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss. For more information on our trusted partner of choice, please visit Rxhearing.com. 

Deciphering the Signs: How to Determine When It's Time for Hearing Aids

Hearing loss is a prevalent condition that can significantly impact one's quality of life. The decision to seek hearing aids is an important step towards regaining the ability to communicate and engage fully in daily activities. However, recognizing when it's time to consider hearing aids can be a challenge. In this article, we will explore the key signs and indicators that suggest it may be time to seek assistance from hearing aids, drawing insights from multiple sources to provide a comprehensive guide.Difficulty Understanding ConversationsOne of the primary signs that indicate the need for hearing aids is struggling to understand conversations, particularly in noisy environments. If you find yourself frequently asking people to repeat themselves, missing important details during discussions, or experiencing difficulty following conversations in group settings, it may be a strong indication that your hearing has been compromised.Increased Volume on Electronic DevicesIf you consistently find yourself needing to raise the volume on your television, radio, or other electronic devices to levels that are uncomfortable for others, it may be an indication of hearing loss. Difficulty hearing sounds at a normal volume can be a sign that your hearing has diminished and requires assistance.Social Withdrawal and IsolationHearing loss can have a significant impact on social interactions. Struggling to hear and actively participate in conversations can lead to frustration, embarrassment, and social withdrawal. If you find yourself avoiding social situations, missing out on group activities, or feeling isolated due to difficulties in communication, it may be a clear indication that hearing aids could greatly improve your quality of life.Increased Fatigue and Mental StrainUntreated hearing loss can place an additional cognitive load on the brain. Constantly straining to hear and understand conversations can lead to increased mental fatigue and exhaustion. If you find yourself feeling tired after social engagements or experiencing difficulty concentrating due to the energy expended in trying to hear, it may be a sign that hearing aids can help alleviate the cognitive strain.Ringing or Buzzing Sounds (Tinnitus)Tinnitus is a common condition characterized by the perception of ringing, buzzing, or other phantom sounds in the ears. While not always directly related to hearing loss, tinnitus often coexists with hearing impairment. If you experience persistent tinnitus alongside difficulty hearing, it is recommended to consult with a hearing healthcare professional to explore the potential benefits of hearing aids in managing both conditions.Family and Friends Express ConcernOften, it is our loved ones who notice changes in our hearing before we do. If family members, friends, or colleagues express concerns about your hearing, it is essential to take their observations seriously. Their feedback can provide valuable insights and encourage you to seek professional help in determining if hearing aids are necessary.Failed Hearing ScreeningsIf you have undergone a hearing screening or test that indicates hearing loss, it is crucial to consult with a hearing healthcare professional to discuss further evaluation and potential treatment options. Professional assessments can provide a more accurate diagnosis and determine if hearing aids are the right solution for your specific hearing needs.In Summary, recognizing when it's time to consider hearing aids is crucial for improving communication, enhancing relationships, and maintaining an active lifestyle. If you experience difficulty understanding conversations, increased reliance on high volumes, social withdrawal, mental strain, persistent tinnitus, or concerns expressed by loved ones, it may be time to seek professional guidance. Hearing healthcare professionals can conduct thorough assessments and recommend appropriate hearing aids to help you regain the joy of hearing and improve your overall quality of life. Remember, early intervention can lead to better outcomes, so don't hesitate to seek assistance when you notice signs of hearing loss.**The information presented in this article is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. It is important to consult with a qualified healthcare professional for any concerns regarding your hearing health.

Local Services By This Author

Millennium Physician Group

Physicians 6321 Daniels Parkway, Fort Myers, Florida, 33912

Founded in Port Charlotte, Florida, in 2008, and now headquartered in Fort Myers, Millennium Physician Group has quickly become the leading independent physician group with more than 800 healthcare providers across Florida and growing. Services center on primary care and are complemented by specialty care, walk-in centers, radiology and lab services, physical therapy, telehealth, wellness programs, home health, hospital care, and much more. Nationally recognized as a leader in value-based care with consistently high levels of physician engagement, Millennium aims to create a genuinely connected healthcare experience for patients by providing a comprehensive and coordinated approach to healthcare  and be Your Connection to a Healthier Life.

Millennium Physician Group

Physicians 19531 Cochran Blvd, Port Charlotte, Florida, 33948

Founded in Port Charlotte, Florida, in 2008 and now headquartered in Fort Myers, Millennium Physician Group has quickly become the leading independent physician group with more than 800 healthcare providers across the Southeast. Services center on primary care and are complemented by specialty care, walk-in centers, radiology and lab services, physician therapy, telehealth, wellness programs, home health, hospital care and much more. Nationally recognized as a leader in value-based care with consistently high levels of physician engagement, Millennium aims to create a genuinely connected healthcare experience for patients by providing a comprehensive and coordinated approach to healthcare and be Your Connection to a Healthier Life.