Hearing is the foundation for communication and social interactions. Hearing loss can occur gradually, and often may go unrecognized for many years. The effects of hearing loss are not just measured by the audiogram but also by the impact it has on each individual. Hearing loss can have a significant impact on emotional health, memory, employment opportunities, relationships and social engagement.
How often should I have my Hearing Tested?
If you believe that you are suffering from hearing loss or have any of the warning signs of hearing loss, you should see an audiologist for a comprehensive hearing examination. Regardless of self-assessed hearing ability, it is advised to get a baseline hearing test at 60 years of age, or sooner, if you have any risk factors for earlier onset hearing loss such as family history or exposure to hazardous noise levels. A baseline hearing test at any age can serve as a useful reference for your hearing health in the future.
Signs you need your hearing tested…
Many prevalent health conditions have a strong link with hearing loss, and if left untreated, may have a devastating impact.
Dementia: Age related hearing loss, also known as presbycusis, is often gradual and due to a loss of sensory hair cells within the cochlea. Loss of these cells disrupts communication between the ear and brain, which can impact several essential brain areas utilized for communication, such as hearing, memory, speech and language. In fact, a research study led by Dr. Lin at Johns Hopkins showed that untreated hearing loss increases the risk of dementia by 200-500%. (link to our handout saved to this file – “Dementia & Hearing Loss”)
Depression: Untreated hearing loss has serious emotional and social consequences for older persons. A survey of 2,300 hearing impaired adults age 50 and older found that those with untreated hearing loss were more likely to report depression, anxiety, and paranoia and were less likely to participate in organized social activities, compared to those who wear hearing aids.
Diabetes: Individuals with diabetes are 2x more likely to develop hearing loss than those without diabetes. Diabetes inhibits the body’s ability to produce and manage insulin appropriately, causing a glucose build up in the bloodstream. Researchers suspect that the buildup of glucose in the ear can damage the small blood vessels in the inner ear, resulting in hearing loss.
Heart Disease: Hearing loss occurs 54% more often in people with heart disease. The hair cells in the inner ear, which communicate to the brain via the auditory nerve, are susceptible to damage due to poor blood flow resulting from narrowed blood vessels. This may cause insufficient oxygenation through the blood, causing irreversible damage.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: Several studies, including a 2018 study in Clinical Rheumatology, found higher rates of sensorineural hearing loss – a type of hearing loss usually caused by poor function of the hair cells in the cochlea – in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Some evidence also links hearing
The risks of untreated hearing loss are established and many. Do not delay evaluation and management. To schedule an appointment with us or to learn more, contact us at 803-620-8250 or send an email to by filling out form below.
“I have two children with hearing loss and have worked with many audiologists over the years. Lakeside Audiology provides AMAZING care. Both Dr. Block and Dr Jensen are professional, caring and experts in the field of pediatric audiology. They are great with babies, young children and teenagers. Without hesitation I recommend this practice.”
“Lakeside Audiology has been so amazing for my little guy with hearing loss. We switched to Dr. Jensen after a not so great experience at another audiologist office. Our insurance doesn’t cover visits, but thankfully BabyNet works closely with Lakeside. We plan to stay with Lakeside, even if it’s not covered by the time he’s 3. Dr. Jensen has always been very supportive of each stage we have been through so far and the decisions we have made for our son. She has been more than helpful and encouraging through our journey and I trust her fully. I would highly recommend Lakeside Audiology to anyone..of any age! These ladies are just wonderful!”
“BEST place for the entire family for all of your hearing needs. My 3 year old daughter was seen by Dr. Kim Block and it was a fantastic experience. As a newer mother, the facility did a great job helping a nervous mother and daughter through the process of scheduling, the actual appointment, and explaining the results. It was such a easy and painless process. I highly recommend this friendly facility to care for your loved ones. In addition, to the great service, both audiologists are highly educated and trained, which you can TRUST. The brand new and clean facility has the highest quality equipment and clean toys for the children to play with. I can’t say enough great things about this place. This is a no-brainer, call and make an appointment today!”
“We switched to Lakeside after years at multiple audiologists for my two young children with hearing loss. There is no comparison! Dr. Jensen and Dr. Block are both so nurturing and kind, yet professional and knowledgeable. They go above and beyond to show my family the best care at every appointment.”
“I can’t even begin to say enough about Dr. Block. Our daughter has severe/profound bi-lateral sensorineural hearing loss and we have been to many audiology offices in the last 2 years. We couldn’t be happier to have finally landed in an office where our daughter is a person, friend and family member of this practice instead of another medical chart. Dr. Block is thorough, willing to listen and is amazing at what she does. So happy to have her in our lives as we continue down this hearing loss journey!”