If you haven’t had your hearing examined since you were in grade school, you’re not by yourself. Regrettably, we have a habit of treating hearing loss reactively rather than proactively, and a normal adult physical normally doesn’t include a hearing test. In fact, even when they know they have loss of hearing, most people ignore it for as many as seven years which can significantly impact your health. As a matter of fact, in the long run, it’s been proven that your general health expense will go up if you have untreated loss of hearing.
The good news, hearing exams are simple, painless, and provide a wealth of information for our professionals to assist 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 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 crucial that you regularly have your hearing tested. It can be a considerable time before you recognize that there is something wrong with your hearing. Hearing loss normally occurs gradually, and the sooner you recognize a problem with your hearing, the sooner you might be able to fix it.
When Should You Get Tested?
Usually the hospital will test newborns for hearing loss before they send them home. Teenagers should be screened during regular exams with their doctors and children should have formal hearing assessments at the ages of 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 years old according to The American Academy of Pediatrics.
If you are in between the ages of 18 to 45, it is suggested that you have your hearing tested every five years and then more often as you get older. You need to get checked every three years if you are between 46 and 60 years old and then every two years after you turn 60. But you might need to get checked more often. The frequency with which you should get checked will really depend on your specific situation. You should have your hearing tested right away if you find that it isn’t as good as it once was. Neglected loss of hearing has been linked to mental decline, depression and a greater risk of falling and other health concerns. It can also influence your relationships and your ability to do work efficiently.
And you should get a hearing exam, in some circumstances, as soon as you can if you have hearing loss that is getting quickly worse. The following scenarios mean that you should get a hearing test right away:
- You are experiencing vertigo
- It is difficult to pinpoint where sounds are coming from
- You are experiencing a constant ringing in your ears
- Your ear was infected, or there was a buildup of earwax
- Conversations are difficult to hear when you are in a crowded area especially
- You find yourself having to constantly ask people to repeat themselves
Whether you are at risk of hearing loss is another consideration. You should have your hearing examined more often, for example, if you are subjected to loud noise or if loss of hearing runs in your family.
Also, over 200 ototoxic medications exist. From Aspirin to certain antibiotics, these medications can be very bad for your hearing. Consult your doctor to make sure any medicines you are taking aren’t affecting your hearing. Consider having your hearing tested more often in order to address any loss of hearing immediately if you are taking any ototoxic medications.
Also, think about how your habits could be affecting your hearing loss. Are you using earbuds regularly? There’s been a noticeable increase in younger people with hearing loss, which many experts attribute to the increased use of earbuds and other headsets. Shows, loud concerts, and machinery can also do appreciable harm to your hearing. Schedule your hearing test today if it’s time for you to get your hearing tested.