You don’t need to feel like your alone if you haven’t had a hearing test since you were a youngster. It’s not commonly part of a routine adult physical and sadly, we often treat hearing reactively instead of proactively. In fact, even when they realize they have loss of hearing, most people neglect it for as many as seven years which can seriously impact your health. As a matter of fact, untreated hearing loss has been shown to raise your healthcare costs over time.
The good news, hearing exams are simple, painless, and provide a wide range of facts for our professionals to assist you, both for diagnosing hearing problems and evaluating whether interventions like hearing aids are working. When you were younger, you might remember the audiometry test from school, but a full hearing exam will give you a better understanding of your hearing without a sticker or a lollipop.
It’s crucial that you routinely get your hearing examined even though you may 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 something wrong with your hearing. Because loss of hearing usually happens gradually over time it’s not easy to detect it at first, but the sooner you do, the more likely you will be able to successfully treat it.
How do You Know When to Get Tested?
All infants should be evaluated for hearing loss, and typically, the hospital takes care of that before they are sent home. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children undergo formal hearing tests when they are 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 years of age and that teenagers should have hearing tests during wellness visits with their doctors.
It’s recommended that if you are in between the ages of 18 and 49, you get your hearing tested every five years and then, as you get older, more frequently. 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 may need to get tested more often. The frequency with which you should get tested will ultimately depend on your unique situation. You should get your hearing examined immediately if you find that it isn’t as good as it once was. A number of health concerns are associated with untreated hearing loss, such as increased danger of falling, mental decline, and depression. It can also impact your relationships and your ability to do work efficiently.
There are also some circumstances in which you should have a hearing test as soon as you can to address loss of hearing that could get worse. An immediate hearing test is advisable if:
- Pinpointing where sounds are coming from is difficult
- You are unable to hear conversations, particularly when in crowded areas
- There is earwax buildup or you had an ear infection
- Your ears have constant ringing in them
- You are experiencing vertigo
- Asking people to repeat themselves is something you have to do constantly
Another consideration is whether you are at a higher risk for hearing loss. You should get your hearing screened more frequently, as an example, if you are exposed to loud noise or if hearing loss runs in your family.
There are also more than 200 ototoxic medicines. From Aspirin to certain antibiotics, these drugs can be very harmful to your hearing. So that you can make sure none of your medications are affecting your ears, consult your doctor. Think about having your hearing tested more often in order to address any hearing loss immediately 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 noticeable rise in younger people who have hearing loss, which many experts connect to the increased use of earbuds and other headsets. Loud concerts, shows, or machinery can also do considerable harm to your hearing. If you feel that it’s time for you to get your hearing tested, schedule an appointment today.