20Feb2015

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When should you get a hearing test if you have a family history of hearing loss?

Posted on Feb 20, 2015

Genetics may play a role in your risk of developing age related hearing loss, according to several studies.

According to a study called Genetic Variation Linked to Age-Related Hearing Loss1 published on the website for the US National Institute on Aging, there is a link between a specific gene and hearing loss. This gene, glutamate metabotropic receptor 7 (GRM7), has been found in older people with hearing loss. 

In fact, this gene has been strongly associated with both speech reception thresholds (SRTs) and pure-tone thresholds (PTs). SRTs measure the softest level at which you can begin to understand 50% of spoken words while PTs measure the softest level at which you can detect simple sounds at particular frequencies. 

This finding indicates there is a genetic association, so if you have hearing loss in your family you may want to get yourself tested, particularly if you or a loved one have noticed any signs of hearing loss.

What are the signs of hearing loss?

– You may feel others are mumbling, particularly if there is any background noise. 

– Others might complain that you have the TV or radio turned up too loud. 

– You may often require people to repeat themselves so you can understand what they are saying. Sometimes you may even misunderstand what others are saying to you and respond inappropriately.

– Some people also have a ringing in their ears. This is known as tinnitus and can also take the form of hissing, roaring or buzzing noises.

Often loved ones notice the signs of hearing loss first, but if you suspect you have this issue, it is recommended you have your hearing tested. 

Often loved ones notice the signs of hearing loss first, but if you suspect you have this issue, it is recommended you have your hearing tested, simply click here or call 1800 340 631 to make a FREE check-up with your local Hearing Life hearing clinic.

1. Newman DL, et al. GRM7 variants associated with age-related hearing loss based on auditory perception, Hearing Research (2012)

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