You don’t need to feel like your by yourself if you haven’t had a hearing examination since you were a youngster. It isn’t normally part of a routine adult physical and unfortunately, we tend to treat hearing reactively instead of proactively. As a matter of fact, even when they realize they have hearing loss, the majority of people ignore it for as many as seven years which can severely impact your health. As a matter of fact, untreated loss of hearing has been shown to raise your healthcare costs in the long run.
The good news, hearing tests are easy, pain-free, and provide a wide range of information for our experts to help you, both for diagnosing hearing problems and evaluating whether interventions like hearing aids are working. A full audiometry test is more involved than what you may remember from childhood and you won’t get a sticker or a lollipop when it’s finished but you’ll gain a much clearer understanding of your hearing.
While you might not give the condition of your hearing as much attention as you would the health of your teeth or your eyes, it is crucial that you routinely have your hearing checked. It can be a considerable time before you notice that there is something wrong with your hearing. Loss of hearing usually happens gradually, and the earlier you detect a problem with your hearing, the sooner you may be able to deal with it.
When Should You Be Tested?
Normally the hospital will test newborns for hearing loss before they send them home. Teenagers should be screened during regular 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.
If you are between the ages of 18 to 45, it is recommended that you have your hearing checked every five years and then more frequently as you get older. You should get checked every three years if you are between 46 and 60 years old and then every two years after you turn 60. But you may need to get checked more frequently. Your individual situation will dictate when you should be an exam. If you find that your hearing isn’t what it once was, you should have it examined right away. Neglected loss of hearing has been associated with cognitive decline, depression and increased risk of falling and other health concerns. Your capacity to do work effectively and your relationships can also be affected.
And you should have a hearing test, in some circumstances, as soon as you can if you have hearing loss that is getting quickly worse. The following scenarios suggest that you should get a hearing test right away:
- Your ears have constant ringing in them
- You find yourself having to constantly ask people to repeat themselves
- You are experiencing vertigo
- It is difficult to pinpoint where sounds are coming from
- You are unable to hear conversations, particularly when in crowded areas
- Your ear was infected, or there was a buildup of earwax
Whether you are at risk of hearing loss is another factor. For example, if hearing loss runs in your family or you are subjected to loud noises on a regular basis you should have your hearing examined more often.
Also, more than 200 ototoxic medications exist. From Aspirin to some antibiotics, these drugs can be very bad for your hearing. So that you can be sure none of your medications are affecting your ears, check with your doctor. If you need to take a medication that you know is ototoxic, consider getting more frequent hearing testing so you can address any hearing loss right away.
Also, take into consideration how your habits might be affecting your hearing loss. Constantly using your earbuds? There’s been a noticeable increase in younger people who have hearing loss, which many experts connect to the increased use of earbuds and other headsets. Your hearing can also be significantly damaged by loud concerts, shows, and machinery. If you feel that it’s time for you to get your hearing tested, schedule an appointment today.