If you haven’t had your hearing examined since your grade school days, you’re not by yourself. Unfortunately, we have a tendency to treat hearing loss reactively rather than proactively, and a normal adult checkup typically doesn’t include a hearing test. Most people neglect hearing loss, even when they are aware of it, for as many as seven years which can seriously impact your health. In fact, over time, it’s been proven that your overall health expense will go up if you have untreated hearing loss.
The good news, In order for our hearing professionals to help you, we recommend a hearing test which is simple, pain-free and supplies a wide range of information. Both to find out if interventions like hearing aids are helping you and also for diagnosing potential hearing problems. When you were younger, you might recall the audiometry test from school, but a full hearing test will give you a clearer understanding of your hearing without a sticker or a lollipop.
While you might not give the condition of your hearing as much attention as you would the health of your eyes or your teeth, it is crucial that you routinely have your hearing examined. It can be a considerable time before you notice that there is a problem with your hearing. Hearing loss usually occurs gradually, and the sooner you detect an issue with your hearing, the sooner you might be able to deal with it.
How do You Know When to Get Examined?
Usually the hospital will screen newborns for hearing loss before they send them home. Teenagers should be screened during routine checkups with their doctors and children should get formal hearing assessments at the ages of 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 years old according to The American Academy of Pediatrics.
It’s recommended that if you are between the ages of 18 and 49, you get your hearing examined every five years and then, as you get older, more often. You should get checked every three years if you are 46 to 60 years old and then every two years after you turn 60. But you might need to get tested more frequently. Your unique situation will determine when you need to be a test. You should have your hearing checked immediately if you find that it isn’t as good as it used to be. Untreated loss of hearing has been linked to cognitive decline, depression and a greater risk of falls and other health concerns. It can also affect your relationships and your ability to work effectively.
And you should get a hearing exam, in some situations, as soon as you can if you have hearing loss that is getting quickly worse. An immediate hearing test is advisable if:
- You are unable to hear conversations, particularly when in crowded areas
- Your ears have constant ringing in them
- You are experiencing vertigo
- Asking people to repeat themselves is something you have to do constantly
- Pinpointing where sounds are coming from is difficult
- There is earwax buildup or you had an ear infection
Another factor is whether you are at a greater risk for hearing loss. As an example, if loss of hearing runs in your family or you are exposed to loud noises regularly you should get your hearing examined more frequently.
There are also over 200 ototoxic medicines. From Aspirin to some antibiotics, these medications can be very bad for your hearing. Check with your doctor to make sure any medicines you are taking aren’t affecting your hearing. If you need to use a medication that you know is ototoxic, think about getting more frequent hearing testing so you can manage any hearing loss right away.
Also, consider your habits and whether they might contribute to hearing loss. Are you using earbuds a lot? Hearing loss has noticeably increased in younger people, and many experts believe that this is because of the use of headphones and earbuds. Your ears can also be significantly harmed by machinery, shows, or loud concerts. If you think that it’s time for you to have your hearing examined, schedule an appointment today.