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Get Your Hearing Checked

Photo of a doctor checking a woman's hearing

The Basics

One out of three (1 in 3) Americans age 65-74 has a hearing problem and half of adults over 75 have one. If you are over 65 years old, it is important to get your hearing checked. Start by seeing a doctor. Ask about a hearing test. Your doctor may refer you to a hearing specialist.

Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions affecting older adults. Many people lose their hearing slowly as they age.

Hearing Problems are Serious
Hearing loss can be frustrating and even dangerous. At the doctor’s office, you may not understand the doctor’s words. You may have trouble hearing doorbells and alarms.

How do I Know if I Have Hearing Loss?

  • Do you have trouble hearing over the telephone?
  • Do you have problems hearing because of background noise?

If you answered YES to these questions, you may have a hearing loss. Take this quiz to find out if you have a hearing problem.

The Benefits

Hearing problems can get worse if they are not treated. That is why it’s important to get your hearing checked. Once you know you have a problem, you can take steps to deal with it.

There are many products that can help with hearing loss:

  • Hearing aids you wear in or behind your ear
  • Special phones that make sounds louder
  • TVs with closed captioning
  • Flashing lights to let you know when an alarm or doorbell is ringing

If you think you have a hearing loss, start by seeing a doctor. Find out what treatment choices are right for you. Hearing better is worth the effort.

Take Action!

To find out if you have hearing loss, ask your doctor for a hearing test.

Schedule a Hearing Test
If you are over 65, get tested for hearing loss. Call your doctor or health center and make an appointment for a hearing test.

What About Cost?
If you have private health insurance or Medicare, it may cover the cost of a hearing test. Check with your insurance provider to find out if you are covered. You can still get important screening tests even if you don't have insurance. Find a health center near you to learn more.

Talk to Your Friends and Family
Your friends and family need to know that you have trouble hearing. Sometimes it helps to ask people to speak louder or more slowly. Ask them to look at you when they talk so that you can see their face.

Let Others Know if you do not Understand
Ask people to repeat what they said or re-word a sentence. At the doctor’s office, ask the doctor to write down important information.

Learn More About Hearing Loss
Visit these government Web sites for more information on hearing loss:

Learn about getting your vision checked, another important screening for older adults.

What do you want to do today?

  • Take this quiz to find out if you have a hearing problem.
  • Make an appointment to get a hearing test.
  • Turn off the TV or radio if you are not listening to it. This will help get rid of background noise.
  • National Health Information Center

    P.O. Box 1133, Washington, DC 20013-1133