If you haven’t had your hearing examined since your grade school days, you’re not alone. It’s not normally part of a routine adult physical and unfortunately, we often deal with hearing reactively instead of proactively. Most people neglect hearing loss, even when they are cognizant of it, for up to seven years which can severely impact your health. As a matter of fact, over time, it’s been proven that your general health cost will increase if you have untreated loss of hearing.
The good news, hearing tests are simple, pain-free, and provide a wide range of facts for our experts to help you, both for diagnosing hearing problems and assessing whether interventions such as hearing aids are working. A full audiometry test is more involved than what you may remember from childhood and you won’t get a lollipop or a sticker when it’s done but you’ll get a much clearer understanding of your hearing.
While you might not give the condition of your hearing as much thought as you would the health of your teeth or your eyes, it is important that you regularly have your hearing checked. You may not detect a problem with your hearing for a long time. Hearing loss normally occurs slowly, and the sooner you recognize a problem with your hearing, the sooner you might be able to fix it.
When Should You Get Examined?
Usually the hospital will test infants for hearing loss before they send them home. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that children have formal hearing exams when they are 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 years old and that teenagers should have hearing tests during wellness appointments with their physicians.
It’s suggested that if you are in between the ages of 18 and 49, you get your hearing tested every five years and then, as you age, more often. After you turn 60 you should be examined every two years and if you are between 46 and 60 every three. But you might need to get tested more often. Your specific circumstances will dictate when you should get an exam. You should have your hearing tested right away if you notice it isn’t as good as it used to be. Several health concerns are associated with untreated hearing loss, like increased chance of falling, cognitive decline, and depression. Your capacity to do work effectively and your relationships can also be influenced.
And you should get a hearing test, in some circumstances, as soon as you can if you have hearing loss that is getting quickly worse. The following situations suggest that you need to get a hearing test right away:
- Pinpointing where sounds are coming from is difficult
- You find yourself having to constantly ask people to repeat themselves
- Conversations are difficult to hear when you are in a crowded area especially
- You are experiencing a constant ringing in your ears
- You are experiencing vertigo
- There is earwax buildup or you had an ear infection
Whether you are at risk of hearing loss is another factor. You should have your hearing checked 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. From Aspirin to some antibiotics, these drugs can be very bad for your hearing. In order to be sure none of your medications are affecting your ears, check with your doctor. Think about having your hearing tested more regularly in order to address any hearing loss right away if you are using any ototoxic medications.
Also, consider your habits and whether they may 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. Your hearing can also be significantly harmed by loud concerts, shows, and machinery. If you think that it’s time for you to have your hearing tested, schedule an appointment today.