You don’t need to feel like your alone if you haven’t had a hearing test since you were a kid. Regrettably, we have a habit of treating hearing loss reactively instead of proactively, and a normal adult checkup normally doesn’t include a hearing test. Most people neglect hearing loss, even when they are aware of it, for up to seven years which can significantly affect your health. As a matter of fact, over time, it’s been proven that your general health cost will increase if you have untreated hearing loss.
The good news, In order for our hearing specialists to assist you, we recommend a hearing test which is simple, painless and supplies a wealth of information. Both to learn if interventions such as hearing aids are helping you and also for diagnosing potential hearing problems. A full audiometry exam is more involved than what you might remember from childhood and you won’t get a lollipop or a sticker when it’s finished but you’ll gain a far clearer understanding of your hearing.
It’s important that you routinely have your hearing tested even though you might not normally give your hearing as much consideration as your teeth or eyes. It can be a long time before you recognize that there is an issue with your hearing. Loss of hearing normally happens slowly, and the sooner you recognize an issue with your hearing, the sooner you might be able to deal with it.
When Should You Get Examined?
Typically the hospital will screen babies for hearing loss before they send them home. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children undergo formal hearing examinations when they are 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 years of age and that teenagers should have hearing tests during wellness appointments with their doctors.
It’s recommended that if you are between the ages of 18 and 49, you have your hearing examined every five years and then, as you age, more often. You need to get tested every three years if you are between 46 and 60 years old and then every two years after you turn 60. But don’t let that to stop you. Your unique circumstances will determine when you should get a test. You should get your hearing tested right away if you find that it isn’t as good as it used to be. Several health problems are associated with untreated hearing loss, like increased danger of falling, mental decline, and depression. It can also influence your relationships and your ability to do work efficiently.
There are also circumstances in which you should have a hearing exam as soon as possible to address hearing loss that could get worse. The following situations suggest that you should get a hearing test right away:
- You find yourself having to constantly ask people to repeat themselves
- You are experiencing a constant ringing in your ears
- You are experiencing vertigo
- Conversations are difficult to hear when you are in a crowded area especially
- There is earwax buildup or you had an ear infection
- It is difficult to pinpoint where sounds are coming from
Another consideration is whether you are at a higher risk for hearing loss. You should get your hearing screened more often, for example, if you are exposed to loud noise or if hearing loss runs in your family.
Also, over 200 ototoxic medications exist. These drugs can be very harmful for your hearing and they range from some antibiotics to aspirin. 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 regular hearing testing so you can address any hearing loss immediately.
Also, think about your habits and whether they might contribute to hearing loss. Are you using earbuds regularly? There’s been a significant rise in younger people who have hearing loss, which many experts attribute to the increased use of earbuds and other headsets. Loud concerts, shows, or machinery can also do significant damage to your ears. If you feel that it’s time for you to get your hearing tested, schedule an appointment today.