Why October is the month to get your hearing tested

LEXINGTON, Ky.(WKYT)- October is National Audiology Awareness Month, a month dedicated to reminding folks to get their hearing tested. Nearly 40 million Americans suffer from some type of hearing loss.

The world around us is a noisy place and many have no idea the damage being done.

"Our poor little ears," said Dr. Deanna Frazier of Bluegrass Hearing Clinic.

Dr. Deanna Frazier, an audiologist at Bluegrass Hearing Clinic says our ears are tested daily.

"Everyone is really exposed to noise now especially with the music pods and listening buds. People are streaming things right into their ears, sometimes at levels high enough to do damage," said Dr. Frazier.

In fact she's seeing more and more youngsters being diagnosed with hearing damage earlier in life.

"When we talk about hearing loss we talk about when it's significant enough to where it's impacting your ability to communicate," said Dr. Frazier

The warning signs of someone with hearing loss include:

Asking for things to be repeated

Misunderstanding conversations

You notice someone has become withdrawn

You notice the volume to the TV is significantly louder

A simple test can determine hearing loss and easily serve as a baseline.

"Well the big thing is it's painless, there is no pain involved, there are no shots or needles or anything that is invasive," said Dr. Daena Wilds.

I worry about my right ear, I wear an IFB daily so producers can talk with me, and many times the volume is cranked up in my ear buds too. I decided, because of those things it was a good idea to get my hearing tested.

"Looks good, I can tell you where your ear piece in our right ear, its a little red," said Dr. Frazier.

Once set up with headphones and a clicker, the test took only minutes. Dr. Frazier played a series of tones, each getting faint and every time I heard one I hit the clicker.

"So your hearing is completely normal," said Dr. Frazier.

A report like mine isn't always the case, but for many there is a stigma attached to hearing aid devices and that's something doctors say shouldn't keep you from seeking treatment.

"We didn't have solutions in the past for mild losses and today we have people with very mild losses that we fit with hearing aids that are very successful and are very happy," said Dr. Wilds.

The Academy of Audiology says hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the U.S. Both audiologists we talked with for this story encourage you to get tested, especially if hearing loss runs in your family.

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