If you haven’t had your hearing checked since your grade school days, you’re not alone. Regrettably, we have a tendency to treat hearing loss reactively instead of proactively, and a routine adult checkup usually doesn’t include a hearing test. As a matter of fact, even when they know they have hearing loss, most people ignore it for up to seven years which can seriously impact your health. In fact, untreated hearing loss has been shown to raise your healthcare costs in the long run.
The good news, hearing exams are easy, painless, and provide a wealth of facts for our professionals to assist you, both for diagnosing hearing problems and evaluating 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 done but you’ll gain a far clearer understanding of your hearing.
It’s crucial that you routinely have your hearing checked even though you might not typically give your hearing as much consideration as your teeth or eyes. It can be a long time before you notice that there is an issue with your hearing. Loss of hearing often happens slowly, and the sooner you recognize a problem with your hearing, the sooner you may be able to deal with it.
When Should You Be Tested?
Typically the hospital will test babies for hearing loss before they send them home. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that children undergo formal hearing examinations when they are 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 years old and that teenagers should have hearing tests during wellness visits with their doctors.
If you are between the ages of 18 to 45, it is suggested that you get your hearing checked every five years and then more frequently as you age. 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 allow that to stop you. The regularity with which you need to get checked will ultimately depend on your individual situation. You should have your hearing examined right away if you find that it isn’t as good as it used to be. Quite a few health problems are associated with untreated hearing loss, like increased danger of falling, mental decline, and depression. It can also influence your relationships and your ability to do work effectively.
And you need to have a hearing test, in some situations, as soon as you can if you have hearing loss that is getting quickly worse. An immediate hearing test is advisable if:
- You are unable to hear conversations, particularly when in crowded areas
- You find yourself having to constantly ask people to repeat themselves
- You are experiencing vertigo
- You are experiencing a constant ringing in your ears
- It is difficult to pinpoint where sounds are coming from
- There is earwax buildup or you had an ear infection
Another factor is whether you are at a higher risk for hearing loss. You should have your hearing checked more often, as an example, if you are subjected to loud noise or if loss of hearing runs in your family.
There are also more than 200 ototoxic medicines. These medications can be very harmful for your hearing and they range from some antibiotics to aspirin. In order to be 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 loss of hearing right away 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 increase 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 damage to your ears. Schedule your hearing exam today if it’s time for you to have your hearing examined.