You don’t need to feel like your by yourself if you haven’t had a hearing exam since you were a youngster. Sadly, we have a habit of treating hearing loss reactively instead of proactively, and a normal adult physical typically doesn’t include a hearing test. Most people neglect hearing loss, even when they are cognizant of it, for up to seven years which can significantly impact your health. As a matter of fact, in the long run, it’s been proven that your general health expense will go up if you have untreated loss of hearing.
The good news, hearing tests are simple, painless, and provide a wealth of facts for our professionals to help you, both for diagnosing hearing concerns and evaluating whether interventions such as hearing aids are working. A full audiometry exam is more involved than what you may remember from childhood and you won’t get a lollipop or a sticker when it’s done but you’ll get a much clearer understanding of your hearing.
While you might not give the state of hearing as much attention as you do the health of your eyes or your teeth, it is crucial that you regularly get your hearing examined. It can be a long time before you notice that there is something wrong with your hearing. Hearing loss usually occurs gradually, and the sooner you detect a problem with your hearing, the sooner you might be able to deal with it.
How do You Know When You Should be Examined?
All infants should be evaluated for hearing loss, and normally, the hospital does that before they are released. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children have formal hearing examinations when they are 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 years of age and that teenagers should have hearing tests during wellness appointments 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 often as you age. You need to get tested every three years if you are 46 to 60 years old and then every two years after you turn 60. But you may need to get checked more frequently. The regularity with which you should get checked will ultimately depend on your specific circumstances. You should have your hearing examined right away if you notice it isn’t as good as it once was. Neglected loss of hearing has been associated with mental decline, depression and increased risk of falls and other health issues. It can also impact your relationships and your ability to work efficiently.
There are also scenarios in which you should get a hearing exam as soon as possible to address loss of hearing that could get worse. The following scenarios indicate that you need to get a hearing test right away:
- You are unable to hear conversations, particularly when in crowded areas
- Your ear was infected, or there was a buildup of earwax
- Your ears have constant ringing in them
- You find yourself having to constantly ask people to repeat themselves
- You are experiencing vertigo
- It is difficult to pinpoint where sounds are coming from
Another factor is whether you are at a higher risk for hearing loss. You should get your hearing checked more frequently, for example, if you are subjected to loud noise or if hearing loss runs in your family.
Also, over 200 ototoxic medications exist. From Aspirin to some antibiotics, these drugs can be very harmful to your hearing. Consult your doctor to make sure any medicines you are taking aren’t affecting your hearing. Consider getting your hearing tested more frequently in order to address any hearing loss immediately if you are taking any ototoxic medications.
Also, consider your habits and whether they may contribute to hearing loss. Constantly using your earbuds? Hearing loss has noticeably increased in younger people, and many experts think that this is because of the use of headphones and earbuds. Your hearing can also be significantly harmed by loud concerts, shows, and machinery. If you think that it’s time for you to get your hearing examined, schedule an appointment today.