If you haven’t had your hearing tested since your grade school days, you’re not alone. It isn’t normally part of a routine adult physical and sadly, we tend to deal with hearing reactively instead of proactively. In fact, even when they know they have loss of hearing, most people ignore it for up to seven years which can seriously impact your health. As a matter of fact, in the long run, it’s been proven that your overall health expense will increase if you have untreated hearing loss.
The good news, In order for our hearing professionals to assist you, we recommend a hearing test which is simple, pain-free and supplies a wide range of important information. Both to learn if interventions like hearing aids are helping you and also for diagnosing potential hearing issues. When you were a child, you may remember the audiometry test from school, but a full hearing test will give you a better understanding of your hearing without a lollipop or sticker.
While you might not give the state of hearing as much attention as you do the health of your teeth or your eyes, it is essential that you routinely have your hearing tested. You might not recognize a problem with your hearing for some time. Loss of hearing often occurs gradually, and the sooner you recognize an issue with your hearing, the sooner you may be able to deal with it.
When Should You Get Tested?
Typically the hospital will screen babies for hearing loss before they release them. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children have formal hearing screenings when they are 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 years old and that teenagers should have hearing tests during wellness visits with their physicians.
If you are between the ages of 18 to 45, it is recommended that you get your hearing examined every five years and then more frequently as you age. You should get tested every three years if you are between 46 and 60 years old and then every two years after you turn 60. But you might need to get checked more often. The regularity with which you need to get examined will ultimately depend on your unique circumstances. You should get your hearing examined immediately if you find that it isn’t as good as it used to be. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to mental decline, depression and a greater risk of falls and other health problems. Your capacity to do work efficiently and your relationships can also be impacted.
There are also some scenarios in which you should have a hearing test as soon as possible to address loss of hearing that could get worse. An immediate hearing test is advisable if:
- You are unable to hear conversations, particularly when in crowded areas
- Asking people to repeat themselves is something you have to do constantly
- Your ear was infected, or there was a buildup of earwax
- You are experiencing vertigo
- Your ears have constant ringing in them
- Pinpointing where sounds are coming from is difficult
Another consideration is whether you are at a higher risk for hearing loss. You should have your hearing checked more frequently, for example, if you are exposed to loud noise or if loss of hearing runs in your family.
There are also over 200 ototoxic medications. These drugs can be very harmful for your hearing and they range from certain antibiotics to aspirin. So that you can be sure none of your medications are impacting your ears, consult your doctor. If you need to take a medication that you know is ototoxic, think about getting more frequent hearing testing so you can address any hearing loss right away.
Also, take into consideration how your habits could be affecting your hearing loss. Are you using earbuds regularly? Hearing loss has noticeably increased in younger people, and many experts believe that this is caused by the use of headphones and earbuds. Your hearing can also be substantially harmed by loud concerts, shows, and machinery. Schedule your hearing exam today if it’s time for you to get your hearing examined.