If you haven’t had your hearing checked since your grade school days, you’re not by yourself. Regrettably, we have a tendency to treat hearing loss reactively instead of proactively, and a regular adult physical normally doesn’t include a hearing test. As a matter of fact, even when they realize they have loss of hearing, most people disregard it for as many as seven years which can seriously affect 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 assist you, we suggest a hearing test which is easy, pain-free and provides a wealth of information. Both to learn if interventions such as hearing aids are helping you and also for diagnosing potential hearing problems. When you were a child, you may recall the audiometry test from school, but a full hearing test will give you a clearer understanding of your hearing without a lollipop or sticker.
It’s crucial that you regularly have your hearing checked even though you may not typically give your hearing as much attention as your teeth or eyes. You may not detect an issue with your hearing for a long time. Because loss of hearing commonly occurs slowly over time it’s not easy to detect it at first, but the sooner you can, the more likely you will be able to effectively deal with it.
When Should You Get Examined?
Usually the hospital will test babies for hearing loss before they send them home. Teenagers should be tested during routine exams 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 have your hearing tested every five years and then, as you get older, more frequently. After you turn 60 you should get examined every two years and if you are between 46 and 60 every three years. But don’t allow that to stop you. The regularity with which you should get checked will really depend on your specific circumstances. If you find that your hearing isn’t what it once was, you should have it tested right away. Neglected hearing loss has been connected to cognitive decline, depression and increased risk of falling and other health concerns. Your capacity to work effectively and your relationships can also be impacted.
There are also circumstances in which you should have a hearing exam as soon as possible to address hearing loss that could get worse. An immediate hearing test is advisable if:
- You are unable to hear conversations, particularly when in crowded areas
- It is difficult to pinpoint where sounds are coming from
- You find yourself having to constantly ask people to repeat themselves
- Your ears have constant ringing in them
- You are experiencing vertigo
- Your ear was infected, or there was a buildup of earwax
Another consideration 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 on a regular basis you should have your hearing checked more regularly.
Also, more than 200 ototoxic medications exist. From Aspirin to some antibiotics, these medications can be very harmful to your hearing. Check with your doctor to make certain any medicines you are taking aren’t impacting your hearing. If you need to use a medication that you know is ototoxic, consider getting more regular hearing testing so you can address any hearing loss right away.
Also, think about your habits and whether they might contribute to hearing loss. Are you using earbuds a lot? There’s been a significant rise in younger people who have hearing loss, which many experts connect to the increased use of earbuds and other headsets. Loud concerts, shows, or machinery can also do appreciable damage to your ears. If you think that it’s time for you to get your hearing checked, schedule an appointment today.