If you haven’t had your hearing tested since your grade school days, you’re not alone. Regrettably, we have a habit of treating hearing loss reactively instead of proactively, and a regular adult checkup generally doesn’t include a hearing test. As a matter of fact, even when they know they have hearing loss, most people disregard it for as many as seven years which can severely impact your health. As a matter of fact, in the long run, it’s been proven that your general health cost will go up if you have untreated hearing loss.
The good news, hearing tests are simple, painless, and provide a wide range of facts for our professionals to help you, both for diagnosing hearing problems and assessing whether interventions like hearing aids are working. 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 sticker or a lollipop.
While you may not give the condition of your hearing as much thought as you do the health of your teeth or your eyes, it is important that you regularly have your hearing tested. You may not recognize something wrong with your hearing for some time. Because hearing loss commonly occurs slowly over time it’s not easy to detect it at first, but the sooner you do, the more likely you will be able to effectively treat it.
When Should You Be Tested?
All newborns should be screened for hearing loss, and usually, the hospital takes care of that before they are released. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests 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 have your hearing tested every five years and then, as you age, more frequently. You need to get tested every three years if you are 46 to 60 years old and then every two years after you turn 60. But don’t let that to stop you. The frequency with which you should get examined will ultimately depend on your specific situation. If you find that your hearing isn’t what it once was, you should have it tested right away. Neglected hearing loss has been connected to mental decline, depression and increased risk of falling and other health problems. It can also affect your relationships and your ability to do work effectively.
And you need to have a hearing exam, in some circumstances, as soon as you can if you have hearing loss that is getting quickly worse. An immediate hearing test is advisable if:
- You find yourself having to constantly ask people to repeat themselves
- Conversations are difficult to hear when you are in a crowded area especially
- There is earwax buildup or you had an ear infection
- Your ears have constant ringing in them
- You are experiencing vertigo
- It is difficult to pinpoint where sounds are coming from
Another consideration is whether you are at a higher risk for hearing loss. For example, if loss of hearing runs in your family or you are subjected to loud noises on a regular basis you should get your hearing checked more regularly.
Also, over 200 ototoxic medications exist. These medications can be extremely harmful for your hearing and they range from some antibiotics to aspirin. In order to make sure none of your medications are impacting your ears, check with your doctor. Consider having your hearing tested more often in order to address any loss of hearing right away if you are using any ototoxic medications.
Also, think about your habits and whether they may contribute to hearing loss. Are you using earbuds regularly? Hearing loss has significantly increased in younger people, and many experts think that this is because of the use of headphones and earbuds. shows, loud concerts, and machinery can also do appreciable damage to your hearing. If you feel that it’s time for you to have your hearing examined, schedule an appointment today.