You don’t need to feel like your by yourself if you haven’t had a hearing test since you were a youngster. It’s not usually part of a routine adult physical and sadly, we often deal with hearing reactively instead of proactively. The majority of people disregard hearing loss, even when they are aware of it, for up to seven years which can seriously affect your health. As a matter of fact, untreated hearing loss has been proven to increase your healthcare costs over the years.
The good news, hearing exams are easy, pain-free, and provide a wide range of facts for our professionals to help you, both for diagnosing hearing concerns and evaluating whether interventions such as hearing aids are working. A full audiometry exam is more involved than what you might remember from childhood and you won’t get a lollipop or a sticker when it’s finished but you’ll gain a far clearer understanding of your hearing.
It’s crucial that you regularly get your hearing examined even though you might not normally give your hearing as much attention as your teeth or eyes. You may not notice an issue with your hearing for a long time. Because loss of hearing normally occurs slowly over time it’s not easy to notice it at first, but the sooner you do, the more likely you will be able to successfully deal with it.
How do You Know When to Get Tested?
Normally the hospital will screen infants for hearing loss before they send them home. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children undergo formal hearing examinations when they are 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 years of age and that teenagers should have hearing exams during wellness appointments 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 get examined every two years and if you are in between 46 and 60 every three. But you might need to get checked more frequently. The regularity with which you should get tested will really depend on your individual circumstances. If you notice your hearing isn’t what it once was, you should have it examined immediately. Untreated loss of hearing has been connected to cognitive decline, depression and a greater risk of falling and other health issues. It can also influence your relationships and your ability to work efficiently.
There are also some situations in which you should have a hearing test as soon as possible to address loss of hearing that could get worse. The following scenarios suggest that you need to get a hearing test right away:
- You are experiencing vertigo
- You are experiencing a constant ringing in your ears
- Conversations are difficult to hear when you are in a crowded area especially
- Asking people to repeat themselves is something you have to do constantly
- It is difficult to pinpoint where sounds are coming from
- Your ear was infected, or there was a buildup of earwax
Another factor is whether you are at a higher risk for hearing loss. You should have your hearing screened more often, as an example, if you are exposed to loud noise or if hearing loss runs in your family.
There are also over 200 ototoxic medications. These drugs can be quite harmful for your hearing and they range from some antibiotics to aspirin. So that you can 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, take into consideration how your habits may be impacting your hearing loss. Are you using earbuds a lot? There’s been a noticeable increase in younger people with 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 have your hearing tested, schedule an appointment today.