It’s not necessary to feel like your alone if you haven’t had a hearing test since you were a kid. It isn’t commonly part of a routine adult physical and unfortunately, we tend to treat hearing reactively rather than proactively. Most people neglect hearing loss, even when they are cognizant of it, for as many as seven years which can severely impact your health. In fact, untreated hearing loss has been shown to increase your healthcare costs over time.
The good news, hearing exams are easy, pain-free, and provide a wealth of information for our experts to help you, both for diagnosing hearing concerns and evaluating whether interventions like hearing aids are working. When you were younger, 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 important that you routinely have your hearing checked even though you may not normally give your hearing as much attention as your teeth or eyes. You might not detect an issue with your hearing for a long time. Because hearing loss normally takes place 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 successfully deal with it.
When Should You Get Examined?
All newborns should be screened for hearing loss, and normally, the hospital handles that before they are sent home. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that children undergo formal hearing exams when they are 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 years old and that teenagers should have hearing tests during wellness visits with their physicians.
If you are in between the ages of 18 and 45, it is recommended that you have your hearing tested every five years and then more frequently as you age. You need to get checked every three years if you are between 46 and 60 years old and then every two years after you turn 60. But you may need to get tested more frequently. The regularity with which you should get examined will really depend on your individual circumstances. You should get your hearing tested immediately if you notice it isn’t as good as it used to be. A number of health concerns are associated with neglected hearing loss, like increased danger of falling, cognitive decline, and depression. Your capacity to do work effectively and your relationships can also be influenced.
And you should get a hearing exam, in some circumstances, as soon as you can if you have hearing loss that is getting worse quickly. An immediate hearing test is advisable if:
- You are experiencing a constant ringing in your ears
- You are experiencing vertigo
- Pinpointing where sounds are coming from is difficult
- Conversations are difficult to hear when you are in a crowded area especially
- Your ear was infected, or there was a buildup of earwax
- You find yourself having to constantly ask people to repeat themselves
Another factor is whether you are at a greater risk for hearing loss. You should get your hearing screened more frequently, as an example, if you are exposed to loud noise or if loss of hearing runs in your family.
There are also over 200 ototoxic medications. From Aspirin to some antibiotics, these drugs can be very harmful to your hearing. So that you can make sure none of your medications are affecting your ears, check with your doctor. Think about getting your hearing tested more regularly in order to address any loss of hearing right away if you are taking any ototoxic medications.
Also, consider your habits and whether they might contribute to hearing loss. Frequently using your earbuds? Hearing loss has significantly increased in younger people, and many experts believe that this is caused by the use of headphones and earbuds. Your hearing can also be significantly harmed by loud concerts, shows, and machinery. If you feel that it’s time for you to get your hearing checked, schedule an appointment today.