Once you hit a certain age, your family physician usually recommends a series of medical procedures to screen for various diseases. But despite the fact that hearing loss increases as we age, most family physicians do not ask their patients to screen for hearing loss.
While hearing loss is seen as a regular process of age, hearing loss can have significant implications for a person’s general health. Not only is hearing loss linked to a higher incidence of diabetes and cardiovascular disease; it is one of the largest risks for cognitive impairments. Moreover, hearing loss usually comes with greater social isolation and a higher incidence of falls. Thus, hearing loss should not be something to be overlooked.
The take home message would be for all family physicians to be asking everyone over 50 years of age if they consider themselves to have a hearing loss. If the patient responds to the answer with a yes, the patient should be referred to an Audiologist for a hearing test. This would provide the patient with the opportunity to educate themselves on the importance of hearing health in the context of their overall health. In other words, we at Hearing Institute of Ontario truly believe in patient centered care and that hearing should be a priority in your overall health.