If you haven’t had your hearing examined since you were in grade school, you’re not alone. Sadly, we have a tendency to treat hearing loss reactively instead of proactively, and a regular adult physical generally doesn’t include a hearing test. As a matter of fact, even when they know they have loss of hearing, most people ignore it for up to seven years which can severely affect your health. In fact, over time, it’s been proven that your overall health cost will go up if you have untreated loss of hearing.
The good news, hearing tests are simple, painless, and provide a wealth of facts for our experts to assist you, both for diagnosing hearing problems and evaluating whether interventions such as hearing aids are working. When you were younger, you might recall the audiometry test from school, but a full hearing test will give you a better understanding of your hearing without a lollipop or sticker.
While you may not give the condition of your hearing as much attention as you do the health of your eyes or your teeth, it is essential that you routinely get your hearing checked. You may not detect an issue with your hearing for some time. Because hearing loss usually takes place gradually over time it’s not easy to recognize it at first, but the sooner you can, the more likely you will be able to successfully deal with it.
When Should You Be Tested?
All newborns should be evaluated for hearing loss, and normally, the hospital handles that before they are sent 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 suggested that if you are between the ages of 18 and 49, you get your hearing tested every five years and then, as you get older, more often. 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 tested more frequently. The frequency with which you should get examined will ultimately depend on your specific situation. You should have your hearing examined right away if you find that it isn’t as good as it once was. A number of health issues are associated with neglected hearing loss, like increased danger of falling, cognitive decline, and depression. It can also influence your relationships and your ability to work effectively.
There are also scenarios in which you should have a hearing exam as soon as you can to address hearing loss that could get worse. The following scenarios suggest that you need to get a hearing test immediately:
- Conversations are difficult to hear when you are in a crowded area especially
- You are experiencing a constant ringing in your ears
- You are experiencing vertigo
- Asking people to repeat themselves is something you have to do constantly
- Pinpointing where sounds are coming from is difficult
- There is earwax buildup or you had an ear infection
Whether you are at risk of hearing loss is another factor. For example, if hearing loss runs in your family or you are exposed to loud noises on a regular basis you should have your hearing checked more regularly.
There are also over 200 ototoxic medications. From Aspirin to some antibiotics, these medications can be very harmful to your hearing. Check with 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, consider getting more frequent hearing testing so you can manage any hearing loss right away.
Also, think about your habits and whether they may contribute to hearing loss. Constantly using your earbuds? Hearing loss has noticeably increased in younger people, and many experts think that this is because of the use of headphones and earbuds. Your ears can also be significantly damaged by loud concerts, shows, and machinery. Schedule your hearing test today if it’s time for you to get your hearing examined.