You don’t need to feel like your alone if you haven’t had a hearing test since you were a kid. Unfortunately, we have a habit of treating hearing loss reactively instead of proactively, and a regular adult checkup generally doesn’t include a hearing test. Most people neglect hearing loss, even when they are aware of it, for up to seven years which can seriously impact your health. As a matter of fact, untreated hearing loss has been proven to raise your healthcare costs over the years.
The good news, hearing tests 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 like 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 done but you’ll get a far clearer understanding of your hearing.
While you may not give the condition of your hearing as much attention as you do the health of your teeth or your eyes, it is crucial that you regularly have your hearing checked. It can be a considerable time before you notice that there is an issue with your hearing. Because hearing loss commonly happens gradually 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 treat it.
How do You Know When to Get Examined?
Normally the hospital will screen newborns for hearing loss before they release them. Teenagers should be screened during regular checkups with their physicians and children should get formal hearing tests 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 examined every five years and then more frequently as you age. After you turn 60 you should get checked every two years and if you are between 46 and 60 every three years. But you may need to get tested more often. The regularity with which you should get checked will really depend on your specific circumstances. You should get your hearing tested immediately if you find that it isn’t as good as it once was. Neglected hearing loss has been connected to cognitive decline, depression and increased risk of falling and other health problems. Your ability to do work efficiently and your relationships can also be influenced.
There are also circumstances in which you should get a hearing test as soon as possible to address loss of hearing that could get worse. An immediate hearing test is advisable if:
- Conversations are difficult to hear when you are in a crowded area especially
- Pinpointing where sounds are coming from is difficult
- You find yourself having to constantly ask people to repeat themselves
- You are experiencing a constant ringing in your ears
- There is earwax buildup or you had an ear infection
- You are experiencing vertigo
Whether you are at risk of hearing loss is another consideration. As an example, if hearing loss runs in your family or you are subjected to loud noises regularly you should get your hearing checked more often.
Also, more than 200 ototoxic medications exist. These medications can be quite harmful for your hearing and they range from certain antibiotics to aspirin. Consult your doctor to make sure any medicines you are taking aren’t affecting your hearing. If you need to use a medication that you know is ototoxic, think about getting more regular hearing testing so you can address any hearing loss right away.
Also, think about your habits and whether they might contribute to hearing loss. Are you using earbuds regularly? Hearing loss has substantially increased in younger people, and many experts think that this is due to the use of headphones and earbuds. shows, loud concerts, and machinery can also do considerable damage to your ears. Schedule your hearing exam today if it’s time for you to have your hearing tested.