It’s not necessary to feel like your by yourself if you haven’t had a hearing examination since you were a kid. Sadly, we have a tendency to treat hearing loss reactively instead of proactively, and a normal adult checkup normally doesn’t include a hearing test. Most people ignore hearing loss, even when they are aware of it, for up to seven years which can seriously affect your health. In fact, untreated hearing loss has been shown to raise your healthcare costs over time.
The good news, hearing exams are simple, painless, and provide a wide range of information for our professionals to help you, both for diagnosing hearing concerns and evaluating 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 sticker or a lollipop when it’s done but you’ll get a far clearer understanding of your hearing.
While you may not give the state of hearing as much thought as you would the health of your eyes or your teeth, it is crucial that you routinely get your hearing tested. It can be a considerable time before you notice that there is something wrong with your hearing. Loss of hearing often happens gradually, and the earlier you recognize a problem with your hearing, the sooner you might be able to deal with it.
When Should You Get Tested?
Normally the hospital will test babies for hearing loss before they send them home. Teenagers should be screened during regular exams with their doctors and children should get formal hearing exams at the ages of 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 years old according to The American Academy of Pediatrics.
It’s recommended that if you are in between the ages of 18 and 49, you get your hearing checked every five years and then, as you get older, more frequently. You should get tested every three years if you are between 46 and 60 years old and then every two years after you turn 60. But don’t let that to stop you. Your unique situation will dictate when you need to be an exam. You should get your hearing checked immediately if you find that it isn’t as good as it used to be. A number of health problems are associated with neglected hearing loss, such as increased danger of falling, mental decline, and depression. Your capacity to work efficiently and your relationships can also be affected.
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 mean that you need to get a hearing test immediately:
- Pinpointing where sounds are coming from is difficult
- 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
- Your ears have constant ringing in them
- You are experiencing vertigo
- Your ear was infected, or there was a buildup of earwax
Whether you are at risk of hearing loss is another factor. You should have your hearing screened more often, for 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. These drugs can be very harmful for your hearing and they range from certain antibiotics to aspirin. Consult your doctor to make sure any medicines you are taking aren’t impacting your hearing. If you need to take a medication that you know is ototoxic, consider getting more regular hearing testing so you can address any hearing loss right away.
Also, think about your habits and whether they may contribute to hearing loss. Constantly using your earbuds? There’s been a noticeable increase in younger people who have hearing loss, which many experts attribute to the increased use of earbuds and other headsets. Your hearing can also be significantly harmed by loud concerts, shows, and machinery. Schedule your hearing test today if it’s time for you to have your hearing tested.