It’s not necessary to feel like your by yourself if you haven’t had a hearing examination since you were a kid. Regrettably, we have a habit of treating hearing loss reactively instead of proactively, and a routine adult physical generally doesn’t include a hearing test. The majority of people disregard hearing loss, even when they are aware of it, for up to seven years which can significantly impact 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 exams are easy, painless, and provide a wealth of information for our professionals to assist you, both for diagnosing hearing problems and assessing whether interventions like hearing aids are working. A full audiometry test is more involved than what you may remember from childhood and you won’t get a lollipop or a sticker when it’s done but you’ll get a much clearer understanding of your hearing.
While you might not give the condition of your hearing as much attention as you do the health of your eyes or your teeth, it is important that you routinely get your hearing examined. It can be a considerable time before you notice that there is a problem with your hearing. Because loss of hearing commonly occurs gradually over time it’s not easy to detect it at first, but the sooner you do, the more likely you will be able to effectively treat it.
When Should You Get Tested?
All newborns should be screened for hearing loss, and normally, the hospital does that before they are sent home. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that children undergo formal hearing exams when they are 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 years old and that teenagers should have hearing exams during wellness visits with their doctors.
It’s recommended that if you are in between the ages of 18 and 49, you have your hearing checked every five years and then, as you get older, more often. After you turn 60 you should get tested every two years and if you are between 46 and 60 every three years. But you may need to get tested more often. Your unique circumstances will determine when you need to be an exam. You should get your hearing tested right away if you find that it isn’t as good as it used to be. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to mental decline, depression and a greater risk of falling and other health issues. Your ability to work effectively and your relationships can also be influenced.
There are also some situations in which you should have a hearing exam as soon as possible to address loss of hearing that could get worse. The following scenarios suggest that you should get a hearing test right away:
- You are experiencing a constant ringing in your ears
- You are experiencing vertigo
- You find yourself having to constantly ask people to repeat themselves
- It is difficult to pinpoint where sounds are coming from
- You are unable to hear conversations, particularly when in crowded areas
- 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 often, as an example, if you are exposed to loud noise or if loss of hearing runs in your family.
There are also more than 200 ototoxic medicines. From Aspirin to certain antibiotics, these drugs can be very bad for your hearing. In order to make sure none of your medications are affecting your ears, consult your doctor. Think about getting your hearing tested more regularly in order to address any hearing loss immediately if you are using any ototoxic medications.
Also, think about how your habits might be impacting your hearing loss. Are you using earbuds a lot? There’s been a noticeable rise in younger people who have hearing loss, which many experts connect to the increased use of earbuds and other headsets. Loud concerts, shows, or machinery can also do considerable harm to your hearing. If you feel that it’s time for you to get your hearing checked, schedule an appointment today.