If you haven’t had your hearing tested since your grade school days, you’re not by yourself. Unfortunately, we have a tendency to treat hearing loss reactively instead of proactively, and a routine adult checkup usually doesn’t include a hearing test. The majority of people neglect hearing loss, even when they are aware of 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 go up if you have untreated loss of hearing.
The good news, hearing exams are easy, painless, and give a wide range of information for our professionals to assist you, both for diagnosing hearing problems and evaluating whether interventions like hearing aids are working. When you were a child, you might remember the audiometry test from school, but a full hearing test will give you a better understanding of your hearing without a sticker or a lollipop.
It’s crucial that you routinely have your hearing tested even though you may not normally give your hearing as much consideration as your teeth or eyes. It can be a considerable time before you detect that there is something wrong with your hearing. Loss of hearing normally occurs gradually, and the sooner you recognize a problem with your hearing, the sooner you might be able to fix it.
When Should You Be Tested?
All newborns should be screened for hearing loss, and normally, the hospital handles that before they are released. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that children undergo formal hearing tests when they are 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 years old and that teenagers should have hearing exams during wellness visits with their doctors.
It’s suggested that if you are between the ages of 18 and 49, you get your hearing tested every five years and then, as you age, more frequently. After you turn 60 you need to be tested every two years and if you are in between 46 and 60 every three. But you might need to get tested more often. Your specific situation will determine when you need to get an exam. If you find that your hearing isn’t as good as it once was, you should have it tested right away. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to cognitive decline, depression and increased risk of falls and other health concerns. Your ability to do work effectively and your relationships can also be influenced.
And you should have a hearing test, in some circumstances, as soon as possible 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
- It is difficult to pinpoint where sounds are coming from
- You are experiencing vertigo
- You are experiencing a constant ringing in your ears
- Asking people to repeat themselves is something you have to do constantly
- Your ear was infected, or there was a buildup of earwax
Another factor is whether you are at a greater risk for hearing loss. As an example, if hearing loss runs in your family or you are subjected to loud noises on a regular basis you should have your hearing tested more frequently.
There are also over 200 ototoxic medications. These drugs can be very harmful for your hearing and they range from certain antibiotics to aspirin. Consult your doctor to make certain any medicines you are taking aren’t impacting your hearing. Consider having your hearing tested more frequently in order to address any hearing loss right away if you are taking any ototoxic medications.
Also, take into consideration how your habits might be impacting your hearing loss. Are you using earbuds regularly? There’s been a significant rise in younger people with hearing loss, which many experts connect to the increased use of earbuds and other headsets. Loud concerts, shows, or machinery can also do considerable damage to your ears. If you feel that it’s time for you to have your hearing examined, schedule an appointment today.