If you haven’t had your hearing examined since your grade school days, you’re not alone. It isn’t usually part of a routine adult physical and sadly, we tend to deal with hearing reactively instead of proactively. 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 impact 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, In order for our hearing experts to help you, we suggest a hearing test which is simple, painless and gives a wide range of information. Both to learn if interventions like hearing aids are helping you and also for diagnosing potential hearing problems. A full audiometry test is more involved than what you might remember from childhood and you won’t get a sticker or a lollipop when it’s finished but you’ll gain a much clearer understanding of your hearing.
While you may not give the condition of your hearing as much attention as you do the health of your teeth or your eyes, it is essential that you regularly have your hearing tested. It can be a considerable time before you notice that there is something wrong with your hearing. Because loss of hearing commonly happens 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 efficiently deal with it.
When Should You Be Tested?
All newborns should be evaluated for hearing loss, and typically, the hospital handles that before they are sent home. Teenagers should be screened during regular checkups 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 between the ages of 18 and 45, it is suggested that you get your hearing examined every five years and then more frequently as you age. After you turn 60 you need to be examined every two years and if you are in between 46 and 60 every three years. But you may need to get checked more frequently. The frequency with which you need to get checked will really depend on your unique situation. You should have your hearing checked immediately if you notice it isn’t as good as it once was. Neglected loss of hearing has been associated with cognitive decline, depression and increased risk of falling and other health issues. It can also affect your relationships and your ability to work efficiently.
There are also some situations in which you should get a hearing test as soon as possible to address loss of hearing that could get worse. The following situations suggest that you need to get a hearing test immediately:
- Your ears have constant ringing in them
- You are unable to hear conversations, particularly when in crowded areas
- Pinpointing where sounds are coming from is difficult
- You find yourself having to constantly ask people to repeat themselves
- You are experiencing vertigo
- Your ear was infected, or there was a buildup of earwax
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 subjected to loud noises regularly you should get your hearing tested more regularly.
Also, more than 200 ototoxic medications exist. From Aspirin to certain antibiotics, these medications can be very harmful to your hearing. So that you can make sure none of your medications are impacting your ears, check with your doctor. If you need to take a medication that you know is ototoxic, think about getting more regular hearing testing so you can deal with any hearing loss right away.
Also, consider your habits and whether they may contribute to hearing loss. Constantly using your earbuds? Hearing loss has substantially increased in younger people, and many experts believe that this is because of the use of headphones and earbuds. Loud concerts, shows, or machinery can also do considerable harm to your ears. Schedule your hearing exam today if it’s time for you to get your hearing tested.