Have you had your hearing checked lately? Even if you haven't noticed significant hearing loss, it's important to have your hearing checked annually. Changes in your hearing can happen gradually over time, and your audiologist can help you more effectively when they are able to track those changes from year to year.

Although there are many factors that can cause hearing loss, like an ear infection or ruptured eardrum, it is especially important for adults 55 and older to get their hearing checked regularly, because gradual hearing loss as you get older is common.

If you frequently have to ask people to repeat themselves, hear muffled speech or noises, or have difficulty understanding words, you may have some hearing loss. Decreased hearing can affect your daily life and it can be frustrating, but it can also have more serious consequences. If you are unable to hear certain directions or warnings, you could place yourself in danger. Trouble hearing can also lead to feelings of loneliness or depression.

But you're not alone! According to John Hopkins Medicine, 20 percent of adults in the United States report hearing loss. And fortunately, there are many treatment options that can help. Don't wait until your hearing loss is a major problem, though. Be proactive and schedule your hearing test today!