Topic 20: The free health test that all over-60s should take
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Can you put a price on your health?
While the answer should be a firm negative, the reality is that it costs a lot to stay healthy these days and forking out for expensive tests, health insurance and GP visits can take a toll on your bank account.
That’s why over-60s are encouraged to take advantage of free hearing checks that are available both online and at Australian Hearing centres around the country.
Why do I need a hearing test?
Hearing is one of our main tools of communication and when it starts to fade with age, so can our ability to keep up with the world around us.
The tiny hairs and nerves in the cochlea are damaged over time by loud noise or wear and tear. Because the cochlea sends sound signals to the brain, when those hairs or nerves are damaged, electrical signals aren’t transmitted the same way, causing hearing loss.
When should I get tested?
While everyone is affected by hearing loss as they age, most people delay getting tested for up to seven years after they first detect that their hearing’s decreased, when in truth testing should be done every one to two years.
If you’re unsure of whether you’re suffering some hearing loss, there are several signs to look for.
Many people find themselves having to ask others to repeat themselves, while others miss the sound of nearby sirens or alarms.
As hearing loss usually occurs gradually, some signs are subtler, though, such as having to turn the television up to a level that is uncomfortably loud for others in the room.
Other hearing conditions, such as tinnitus, are also linked to hearing loss and can be properly treated once you’ve been tested.
How can I get tested?
Australian Hearing offers free hearing tests at their hearing centres around Australia, as well as through its online audiology support arm Hearing Help. Click here to take an online hearing test.
You can make an appointment with an audiologist at any Australian Hearing centre. They will examine your ears and conduct an audio test to check your quality of hearing. They’ll also be able to answer any questions you may have about your hearing.
However, if you’d be tested at home, Hearing Help conveniently offers two short, online tests.
The first is a questionnaire on lifestyle factors to determine how your hearing measures up in day-to-day situations. The second is an audio quiz that tests how well you hear certain sounds.
Each test takes under five minutes to complete.
Hearing Help also has a live chat feature on its website, where you can talk to an audiologist in real-time from the comfort of your home.
Have you had your hearing tested? Have you noticed your hearing changing over the years?