It’s not necessary to feel like your alone if you haven’t had a hearing examination since you were a kid. It isn’t normally part of a routine adult physical and sadly, we often deal with hearing reactively instead of proactively. As a matter of fact, even when they recognize they have hearing loss, most people ignore it for as many as seven years which can seriously affect your health. As a matter of 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 tests are easy, painless, and provide a wealth of information for our experts to help you, both for diagnosing hearing problems and assessing whether interventions such as hearing aids are working. A full audiometry test is more involved than what you might remember from childhood and you won’t get a lollipop or a sticker when it’s finished but you’ll gain a much clearer understanding of your hearing.
It’s crucial that you routinely get your hearing tested even though you may not normally give your hearing as much consideration as your teeth or eyes. It can be a long time before you detect that there is a problem with your hearing. Because loss of hearing commonly takes place gradually over time it’s not easy to notice it at first, but the sooner you can, the more likely you will be able to effectively treat it.
When Should You Be Examined?
All newborns should be tested for hearing loss, and normally, the hospital does that before they are sent home. Teenagers should be screened during routine checkups with their doctors and children should have formal hearing exams at the ages of 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 years old according to The American Academy of Pediatrics.
If you are between the ages of 18 to 45, it is recommended that you get your hearing examined every five years and then more often as you age. After you turn 60 you need to be checked every two years and if you are between 46 and 60 every three years. But don’t allow that to stop you. Your specific situation will determine when you need to get an exam. You should have your hearing checked immediately if you find that it isn’t as good as it once was. Quite a few health problems are associated with untreated hearing loss, such as increased risk of falling, cognitive decline, and depression. It can also affect your relationships and your ability to do work efficiently.
And you should have a hearing exam, in some circumstances, as soon as possible if you have hearing loss that is getting quickly worse. An immediate hearing test is advisable if:
- It is difficult to pinpoint where sounds are coming from
- Your ear was infected, or there was a buildup of earwax
- You find yourself having to constantly ask people to repeat themselves
- You are experiencing a constant ringing in your ears
- You are experiencing vertigo
- You are unable to hear conversations, particularly when in crowded areas
Another factor is whether you are at a greater risk for hearing loss. For example, if hearing loss runs in your family or you are exposed to loud noises regularly you should get your hearing tested more frequently.
Also, over 200 ototoxic medications exist. These medications can be quite harmful for your hearing and they range from some antibiotics to aspirin. So that you can 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, think about getting more regular hearing testing so you can manage any hearing loss immediately.
Also, consider your habits and whether they may contribute to hearing loss. Regularly using your earbuds? Hearing loss has substantially increased in younger people, and many experts believe that this is due to the use of headphones and earbuds. Loud concerts, shows, or machinery can also do considerable harm to your ears. Schedule your hearing test today if it’s time for you to get your hearing tested.