If you haven’t had your hearing tested since you were in grade school, you’re not alone. It isn’t normally part of a routine adult physical and sadly, we tend to deal with hearing reactively instead of proactively. As a matter of fact, even when they recognize they have loss of hearing, most people neglect it for up to seven years which can seriously affect your health. In fact, over time, it’s been proven that your general health cost will increase if you have untreated hearing loss.
The good news, hearing tests are easy, painless, and give a wealth of facts for our experts to help you, both for diagnosing hearing problems and evaluating whether interventions like hearing aids are working. A full audiometry exam is more involved than what you may remember from childhood and you won’t get a sticker or a lollipop when it’s done but you’ll get a much clearer understanding of your hearing.
While you may not give the state of hearing as much thought as you would the health of your eyes or your teeth, it is essential that you routinely have your hearing examined. You might not detect an issue with your hearing for a long time. Loss of hearing often occurs slowly, and the earlier you recognize an issue with your hearing, the sooner you may be able to fix it.
How do You Know When You Should be Examined?
Normally the hospital will test babies for hearing loss before they send them home. Teenagers should be screened during regular checkups with their physicians and children should get formal hearing assessments at the ages of 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 years old according to The American Academy of Pediatrics.
It’s recommended that if you are in between the ages of 18 and 49, you have your hearing examined every five years and then, as you age, more frequently. You should get checked every three years if you are 46 to 60 years old and then every two years after you turn 60. But you might need to get tested more frequently. The regularity with which you need to get examined will really depend on your specific circumstances. You should get your hearing tested right away if you find that it isn’t as good as it used to be. Several health issues are associated with neglected hearing loss, like increased risk of falling, mental decline, and depression. It can also impact your relationships and your ability to work efficiently.
And you should have a hearing exam, in some situations, as soon as you can if you have hearing loss that is getting worse quickly. An immediate hearing test is advisable if:
- Your ear was infected, or there was a buildup of earwax
- Asking people to repeat themselves is something you have to do constantly
- Conversations are difficult to hear when you are in a crowded area especially
- You are experiencing a constant ringing in your ears
- Pinpointing where sounds are coming from is difficult
- You are experiencing vertigo
Whether you are at risk of hearing loss is another factor. For example, if loss of hearing runs in your family or you are exposed to loud noises on a regular basis you should have your hearing checked more often.
There are also over 200 ototoxic medicines. From Aspirin to certain antibiotics, these medications can be very harmful to your hearing. In order to make certain none of your medications are impacting your ears, consult your doctor. If you need to use a medication that you know is ototoxic, consider getting more frequent hearing testing so you can address any hearing loss immediately.
Also, take into consideration how your habits may be impacting your hearing loss. Are you using earbuds a lot? Hearing loss has substantially increased in younger people, and many experts believe that this is caused by the use of headphones and earbuds. Your ears can also be substantially harmed by machinery, shows, or loud concerts. Schedule your hearing exam today if it’s time for you to get your hearing tested.