If you haven’t had your hearing examined since your grade school days, you’re not alone. Sadly, we have a tendency to treat hearing loss reactively rather than proactively, and a routine adult physical usually doesn’t include a hearing test. As a matter of fact, even when they recognize they have loss of hearing, most people ignore it for as many as seven years which can seriously affect your health. In fact, over time, it’s been proven that your overall health cost will go up if you have untreated hearing loss.
The good news, hearing exams are easy, painless, and give a wealth of information for our experts to assist you, both for diagnosing hearing concerns and assessing whether interventions such as hearing aids are working. When you were younger, you might remember the audiometry test from school, but a full hearing test will give you a better understanding of your hearing without a lollipop or sticker.
It’s essential that you regularly have your hearing checked even though you might not typically give your hearing as much consideration as your teeth or eyes. You might not detect a problem with your hearing for a long time. Because hearing loss usually takes place slowly over time it’s not easy to notice it at first, but the sooner you can, the more likely you will be able to efficiently deal with it.
When Should You Get Examined?
Normally the hospital will screen newborns for hearing loss before they send them home. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that children undergo formal hearing examinations when they are 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 years of age and that teenagers should have hearing tests during wellness visits with their physicians.
It’s recommended that if you are in between the ages of 18 and 49, you get your hearing checked every five years and then, as you age, more frequently. After you turn 60 you need to be tested every two years and if you are in between 46 and 60 every three years. But you might need to get checked more often. Your individual circumstances will dictate when you should get an exam. You should have your hearing examined right away if you find that it isn’t as good as it once was. Several health concerns are associated with untreated hearing loss, such as increased chance of falling, cognitive decline, and depression. It can also influence your relationships and your ability to work effectively.
There are also situations in which you should get a hearing exam as soon as you can to address hearing loss that could get worse. The following scenarios suggest that you should get a hearing test immediately:
- Conversations are difficult to hear when you are in a crowded area especially
- You are experiencing vertigo
- You find yourself having to constantly ask people to repeat themselves
- You are experiencing a constant ringing in your ears
- It is difficult to pinpoint where sounds are coming from
- There is earwax buildup or you had an ear infection
Whether you are at risk of hearing loss is another factor. You should have your hearing tested more frequently, as an example, if you are exposed to loud noise or if loss of hearing runs in your family.
Also, over 200 ototoxic medications exist. From Aspirin to some antibiotics, these drugs can be very harmful to your hearing. Consult your doctor to make certain any medicines you are taking aren’t affecting your hearing. If you need to take a medication that you know is ototoxic, think about getting more regular hearing testing so you can manage any hearing loss right away.
Also, think about how your habits may be impacting your hearing loss. Are you using earbuds a lot? Hearing loss has significantly increased in younger people, and many experts think that this is caused by the use of headphones and earbuds. Loud concerts, shows, or machinery can also do significant harm to your hearing. If you think that it’s time for you to have your hearing checked, schedule an appointment today.