A close up of a patient receiving an ear exam

10 Signs It’s Time to Check Your Hearing

Hearing loss is common as you age, but it can be managed with proper screening.

About half of the people ages 75 and older have lost enough of their hearing (35 decibels or more) to need a hearing aid, but there’s no reason to have to live with hearing loss.

Here’s how to keep your ears—and your hearing—in tip-top shape for years to come:

  • Get regular hearing screenings. Think of hearing screenings like routine dental or eye exams. You want to make sure everything is functioning as it should, and if there are any issues, you want to detect them early so they can be treated. Hearing exams are recommended every 1-2 years.
  • Be aware of increased risks. Chronic health conditions, such as sleep apnea, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease, increase your hearing loss risk. Some medications may also affect hearing. If you are considered to be at an increased risk, you may need more frequent screenings.
  • Maintain your hearing aids. If you use hearing aids, get them checked by a hearing specialist at least once a year. Daily maintenance is also essential.
  • Mind your earwax. The waxy substance that coats the ear canal gets drier and harder as you age. This can lead to excess buildup or blockages that cause hearing loss, ringing in the ear or a sensation of fullness. Your PCP can safely clear out excess earwax (don’t try to do it yourself).

Ten Signs You Need to Get Your Hearing Checked

  1. You get irritated at others for mumbling
  2. You’re having trouble following conversations
  3. Talking on the phone is more challenging
  4. Some sounds seem louder than normal
  5. It’s harder to carry on a conversation in a crowded room
  6. Everyone is telling you to turn down the TV
  7. You feel like you’re getting clumsier
  8. You don’t remember things people tell you
  9. You don’t get jokes as you used to 10.
  10. You get distracted more easily

Green stamp, Elderplan Wellness Incentive

This screening is part of our Elderplan Wellness Incentive program. Read more to see if you are eligible to participate!

At Elderplan, we value the health and wellness of our members. Knowing the basics about specific health conditions may help you be more aware of the risk factors to look for. As an Elderplan member, many screenings, like hearing exams, may be covered at no cost to you. 

If you are an Elderplan Member and need help, contact Member Services. We can assist in scheduling your screening or recommend other care options through one of our programs.

If you are not a Member, please explore our health plan options to see if there is a plan that may suit your needs. 

Additional Resources