If you haven’t had your hearing examined since your grade school days, you’re not by yourself. Unfortunately, we have a habit of treating hearing loss reactively rather than proactively, and a regular adult physical normally doesn’t include a hearing test. The majority of people ignore hearing loss, even when they are aware of it, for as many as seven years which can seriously affect your health. In fact, untreated loss of hearing has been shown to increase your healthcare costs in the long run.
The good news, hearing tests are simple, pain-free, and provide a wealth of facts for our experts to assist you, both for diagnosing hearing concerns and evaluating whether interventions like hearing aids are working. When you were a child, you might remember the audiometry test from school, but a full hearing exam will give you a better understanding of your hearing without a sticker or a lollipop.
It’s crucial that you regularly have your hearing examined even though you might not typically give your hearing as much attention as your teeth or eyes. It can be a considerable time before you notice that there is a problem with your hearing. Because hearing loss normally happens gradually over time it’s not easy to detect it at first, but the sooner you can, the more likely you will be able to efficiently deal with it.
When Should You Be Tested?
Usually the hospital will screen infants for hearing loss before they send them home. Teenagers should be tested during routine checkups with their physicians 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 recommended that you get your hearing checked every five years and then more frequently as you age. After you turn 60 you should get tested every two years and if you are in between 46 and 60 every three years. But don’t allow that to stop you. Your individual situation will dictate when you need to get a test. If you notice your hearing isn’t what it once was, you should have it checked immediately. Neglected loss of hearing has been connected to mental decline, depression and a greater risk of falls and other health issues. It can also influence your relationships and your ability to work effectively.
And you need to get a hearing test, in some circumstances, as soon as possible if you have hearing loss that is getting quickly worse. The following situations suggest that you should get a hearing test immediately:
- It is difficult to pinpoint where sounds are coming from
- You are experiencing a constant ringing in your ears
- Conversations are difficult to hear when you are in a crowded area especially
- Asking people to repeat themselves is something you have to do constantly
- There is earwax buildup or you had an ear infection
- You are experiencing vertigo
Another consideration is whether you are at a higher risk for hearing loss. As an example, if loss of hearing runs in your family or you are exposed to loud noises regularly you should get your hearing examined more often.
Also, more than 200 ototoxic medications exist. From Aspirin to some antibiotics, these drugs 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, think about getting more regular hearing testing so you can address any hearing loss immediately.
Also, think about your habits and whether they might contribute to hearing loss. Regularly using your earbuds? There’s been a significant 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 significant harm to your ears. Schedule your hearing test today if it’s time for you to have your hearing examined.