Each year, we visit numerous healthcare providers for annual check-ups. The purpose is to ensure that our health is good, and there are no significant changes that might be of concern. Although hearing loss is the third most widespread physical condition behind arthritis and heart disease, visiting a hearing healthcare professional to have ears checked is frequently overlooked. Why do we dismiss this critical screening? There are three main reasons for the neglect. First, hearing loss is not always noticeable and often happens gradually over a while. Second, it is simple to dismiss potential problems if you are not ready to face the possibility of it. Finally, hearing loss is more noticeable to friends and family first, and the person affected does not realize they have a problem. However, a new screening app has the potential to reach large numbers of people who may have undetected hearing loss.
Amplify Hearing is launching a hearing screening app that is compatible with Amazon’s Alexa intelligent virtual assistant (IVA). The company chose to develop the app as a response to a pattern of undetected hearing problems among those over the age of 50. A user gives Alexa a command to launch the hearing screener, and the app provides users a hearing check by asking a series of questions while varying background noises and pitch tones. After the test, the user receives results and an offer for an appointment with an Amplify hearing healthcare professional. The developer, Amplify, believes that the product has a significant rate of accuracy. The app is free and is available from the Amazon Alexa store.
The developers agree that early identification of hearing loss leads to improved treatment outcomes with the use of hearing technology. The team believes that this leads to an improvement in relationships, more social inclusion, and general well-being. It is vital to understand that this tool is an overview of your hearing status and is not a formal diagnosis. If the app detects hearing loss, the user is then encouraged to seek hearing healthcare professionals for a hearing evaluation.
People are often aware of their hearing loss but have difficulty getting help. Those individuals who receive a diagnosis wait, on average, seven years before seeking treatment. Regrettably, allowing hearing loss to go untreated has serious repercussions. Your ability to hear is not the only reason to schedule a formal hearing evaluation. Health problems can develop as a result of not taking action. These include the following:
Remember that there is no alternative for a formal diagnosis of hearing loss from a qualified hearing healthcare professional. A screening device that alerts you to a severe problem is a good thing, be sure to receive the accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment that only a professional can provide.