It can be easy to overlook the health of your hearing, especially if you’re not experiencing any troubling symptoms. Children often receive hearing checkups every few months as they develop, while many adults think that hearing loss is a problem that occurs way in the future. However, the truth is that hearing problems begin earlier than middle age, affecting many patients as early as their teenage years.
Why Is It Important to Get a Hearing Test Every Few Years?
It’s helpful to think of a hearing test as a screening rather than an exam. Too many people assume that hearing tests are for people who have a problem, just as vision tests are for people who have difficulty seeing. But a hearing screening doesn’t just discover hearing loss; it can uncover many physical and medical issues that you may not have known about (and which may not present any symptoms).
A regular hearing examination will allow you and your hearing care provider to:
- Diagnose medical conditions. While most hearing loss is caused by aging, some losses are a result of an underlying medical condition. Diseases such as diabetes may cause hearing problems, while high blood pressure has been linked to both hearing loss and tinnitus. Many patients are able to relieve their hearing problems by treating medical conditions they didn’t know they had!
- Identify potential problems. Much like a vision test, a yearly hearing test allows you to track changes in your hearing and make adjustments as you need them. Your hearing specialist can compare every audiogram you take to the last, allowing her to see how rapidly your hearing is changing and alerting her to potential dangers, including earwax buildup and noise-induced hearing loss.
- Prevent further damage. When hearing problems are allowed to progress, much more is lost than just the ability to hear. Patients may become depressed, suffer from anxiety in public situations, and become increasingly isolated due to the limitations of their conditions. Hearing loss has also been linked to increased injuries in the elderly, as they are less likely to hear car horns, smoke alarms, and other sounds signaling danger.
- Start treatment. Identification of a mild hearing problem can actually be a good thing, as it allows you to prevent hearing loss from getting worse. You can treat hearing loss right away in our offices, as we offer many different types and styles of hearing aids to treat a wide range of hearing problems. As an added bonus, your hearing care provider will walk you through each of your options, letting you know which device will best suit your condition as well as your lifestyle.
Schedule a Hearing Test Today if You Have These Symptoms of Hearing Loss
If you are experiencing any warning signs of hearing loss, you shouldn’t wait for your yearly appointment to get a checkup. Early detection is the key to avoiding permanent hearing loss, so you should schedule a hearing test immediately if you do any of the following every day:
- Ask people to repeat themselves. Leaning toward people when they speak or saying “what?” multiple times in a conversation is often the first sign of a hearing condition.
- Avoid using the telephone. Patients may find themselves reluctant to talk on the phone because they increasingly rely on facial cues and reactions to follow a conversation. As a result, they may not be able to hear or understand words spoken over the phone.
- Fail to hear high-pitched noises. Hearing loss often begins at the upper ranges, so patients may fail to hear birds, instrumental music, and the voices of women and children.
- Work in a noisy environment. People who live or work in areas where noise levels are consistently high are at significant risk of early and permanent hearing loss. We can create custom ear protection for all situations, allowing you to keep working without damaging your ears.
- Have a ringing in your ears. If you are always aware of a buzzing, whooshing, or ringing sound in your ears, you are likely suffering from tinnitus. A hearing specialist can determine the cause of your condition and find the right treatment to restore the silence.
Making and keeping your standing appointment with your hearing health professional will give you the best chance of treating your condition early, prepare you for the risks you face as you get older, and give you an opportunity to ask questions so you can hear your best. Call us today to set up your first appointment, or use our online contact form to schedule a visit.