Are you hearing as well as you should?

Published May 15, 2016

A favorite song.  A child’s laughter. Birds chirping in the trees.

These every day sounds are as much a part of life as breathing. We hear them clearly, without effort, without thinking.  We often take them for granted.

But for millions of Americans, hearing doesn’t come so easily.    

Researchers estimate that 20 percent of the U.S. population, or nearly 48 million individuals, report some degree of hearing loss in at least one ear and nearly 30 million experience hearing loss in both ears. Additionally, research shows that approximately 26 million Americans between the ages of 20 and 69 have experienced high frequency hearing loss largely due to noise exposure at work or during leisure activities.

And contrary to popular opinion, hearing loss can occur at any age.

The Better Hearing Institute estimates that 65 percent of individuals who have hearing loss are younger than 65.  Further research found that for every 1,000 school children, 30 have suffered hearing loss.

Since hearing loss can negatively impact childhood development, employment, education and general well-being, it is important to be able to recognize the signs so that the hearing condition can be treated.

Some hearing loss symptoms are:

  • Often asking people to repeat what they say
  • Having difficulty hearing in crowded rooms, restaurants or parties.
  • Failing to hear someone talking from behind you.
  • Having trouble hearing in groups.
  • Having to turn up the volume on the TV or the car radio.

So what can you do if you suspect that you or someone your love might have hearing loss?

The first step is to get an evaluation. And if you do discover that you have a hearing condition, there are cost-effective solutions available to you. Don’t let the cost of treatment get in the way of getting the proper care.

As your source for more than just health insurance, Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies are here to help with resources that make getting and staying healthy less expensive – 365 days a year.

By signing up for Blue365, members of participating BCBS companies can find significant savings on products from  TruHearing and Beltone, which offer free hearing screenings and deep discounts on hearing aids.

So, if you think you or a family member may be suffering from hearing loss, know that options are available to you. Get evaluated. Find solutions. And start hearing those every day sounds more clearly – 365 days a year.