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Hearing is one of the body’s five senses. It plays a significant role in our ability to communicate and engage with other individuals and the environment around us.

Hearing loss is the result to damage and disorders of the outer, middle and inner ears. Some types of hearing loss can be treated with medical or surgical intervention. Other hearing losses, such as congenital, age-related hearing loss or noise induced hearing losses, are more frequently treated with hearing aids or assistive listening devices.

An individual’s ability to hear and communicate seriously influences and impacts our quality of life.


The symptoms of hearing loss are:

  • Having to ask others to repeat what they have said.
  • Experiencing difficulty understanding others, especially in noisy environments.
  • Turning up the television or radio in order to hear better.
  • Having the feeling that, even though things are loud enough, they are still unclear, making it difficult to understand.
  • Friends and family express frustration when they are communicating with you.

Hearing loss should be immediately evaluated if it occurs suddenly, is accompanied by noises in your ears or dizziness, or is more noticeable in one ear.

If you believe you, a family member or friend might be experiencing hearing loss, here are some steps to consider:

  • Have your hearing tested by an audiologist.
    Hearing tests are covered by Medicare, if ordered by your physician, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, and most private insurance plans. It is difficult to know the type and degree of hearing loss, and if medical intervention is an option, without a hearing test by an audiologist.
  • Complete the Consumer Ear Disease Risk Assessment (CEDRA) to determine if you need to see a physician prior to obtaining a hearing aid.
    This questionnaire is backed by significant research on detecting ear disease and disorders that require medical or surgical intervention.
  • Discuss your hearing difficulties with your physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant at your next visit.
    Your healthcare provider can then refer you for a hearing test with an audiologist.
  • Complete a Hearing Handicap Inventory. If you score the inventory and find a handicap, discuss these results with an audiologist or your healthcare provider.
  • Get your hearing routinely screened,
    at a physician’s or audiologist’s office, at a health fair, using the National Hearing Test, the IDA Institute Hearing Test or using an app like the Jacoti Hearing Center. If you find you might have a hearing loss, please seek a comprehensive hearing evaluation with an audiologist prior to pursuing any form of amplification.

Resources related to hearing and hearing loss:


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