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Screening


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Hearing and balance screenings are an important part of maintaining your quality of life. As we say here at Think Audiology, we want individuals to Hear More and Fall Less. That is best accomplished through routine screenings.

Many diseases and disorders have Hearing is so vital to learning and communication that hearing screenings are mandated at birth for all newborns and for children as they enter school. The military and many employers require a hearing screening prior to beginning service. Research is beginning to make significant ties between untreated hearing loss and social isolation, depression, cognition and dementia.


Balance is also extremely important to maintaining independence and overall health. Per the Centers for Disease Control, among older Americans, falls are the number one cause of injuries and death from injury. This represents 29 million falls, three million emergency department (ED) visits, 800,000 hospitalizations, and 28,000 deaths.

Just as we see our dentist for routine cleanings and our optometrist for routine eye exams, we should see an audiologist for routine hearing and balance screenings. These screenings can establish baseline hearing and balance status and can be invaluable in early detection of hearing and balance issues.

Some indications that a hearing and/or balance screening may be warranted:

  • Babies who were born at home or who was not screened prior to release from a hospital or birthing center or babies who failed their initial screening at birth.
  • Children before they enter kindergarten, middle school and high school or children who fail their school screenings.
  • Children or adults before they begin playing a musical instrument or before they enter or join a band or band program.
  • Individuals who have diabetes.
  • Individuals before they begin employment in noisy work environments such as factories, farming, gun ranges, airports, trucking, music/concert industry, music education, or dentistry.
  • Individuals who are about to begin or who are taking medications or undergoing a drug regimen (such as chemotherapy), which includes side effects of hearing loss, tinnitus or dizziness.
  • Individuals who have not had a hearing screening in five or more years.
  • Individuals who routinely wear earphones or headphones to listen to music.
  • Individuals who have fallen one or more times in the past year.
  • Individuals who experience balance difficulties or dizziness.

If you, a family member or friend wants to maintain your mobility, communicative abilities, independence and quality of life, here are some steps to consider:

  • 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 fail the screening, have a comprehensive baseline hearing test with an audiologist. Hearing tests are covered by Medicare, if ordered by your physician, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, and most private insurance plans.
  • Discuss any hearing or balance concerns or 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.
  • Educate yourself.
    Learn about the short and long effects of hearing and balance disorders on education, employment, health, communication and quality of life.

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