Hearing loss often occurs gradually, so many people don’t realize their hearing has declined. Getting regular hearing tests allows early detection of hearing issues. This is important because untreated hearing loss can negatively impact a person’s quality of life. Hearing tests identify problems, so solutions like hearing aids or treatment of medical conditions causing hearing loss can be implemented.
Hearing checks provide a baseline to compare future tests against to monitor any changes. Since many common activities rely on good hearing, proactively monitoring this important sense through periodic testing allows people to preserve hearing and communication abilities. Protecting hearing means better connecting with others and fully participating in daily life. Make time to schedule a hearing test today.
Hearing loss leads to increased social isolation for many people. When someone has difficulty hearing, it becomes challenging to engage in conversations, especially in noisy environments. This leads the person to avoid social situations where they may struggle to hear. They may start turning down invitations to go out with friends or to attend events because it causes frustration and fatigue from the extra effort needed to communicate. With the right assistance and technologies, those with hearing loss can find ways to continue participating in social activities and maintaining relationships with others. Social support is vital for wellbeing.
Baseline Hearing Tests
The first step is deciding when to get a baseline hearing test. Audiologists recommend healthy adults have their hearing evaluated every ten years until age 50, then every three years after that. Of course, if you suspect you have hearing loss or experience any symptoms such as muffled speech, ringing in the ears, or frequently needing to ask others to repeat themselves, schedule an appointment right away regardless of age.
Seeing a Doctor
When booking your hearing evaluation, choose a certified audiologist. Check with your insurance provider for in-network options. The initial screening is typically covered as preventive care. During the visit, the audiologist will examine the ears to rule out blockages and infections. Next, you’ll move to the soundproof booth to have your hearing tested across different frequencies and volumes to measure your hearing sensitivity. This painless procedure usually takes about an hour.
Diagnosing Hearing Loss
Based on the results, the audiologist can diagnose whether you have hearing loss. If loss is detected, schedule follow-up visits to explore treatment options like hearing aids. The audiologist can also monitor the hearing every year and recommend lifestyle changes to prevent further decline. Protect your hearing by lowering the volume on headphones, wearing earplugs around loud machinery, and getting ear infections treated promptly.
Caring for Hearing Aids
For those already wearing hearing aids, maintain the devices as recommended by the audiologist and replace batteries regularly. Have the audiologist adjust settings and check for component damage annually. Immediately schedule an appointment if you experience any new hearing difficulties, so adjustments can be made.
Making hearing tests a routine part of your health care promotes early detection of loss. This maximizes your chances of obtaining treatment before speech comprehension is impacted. Intervening at the first sign of decline also minimizes the negative effects associated with untreated hearing loss, including cognitive impairment, isolation, and depression. Safeguarding the hearing through regular screenings allows you to stay actively engaged with those around you.
Scheduling a hearing test every few years is one of the most important investments you can make in your long-term health and quality of life. Prioritize preventive hearing care just as you would blood pressure, vision, and dental checkups. Taking these steps will go a long way towards preserving hearing and enabling you to differentiate subtle sounds well into old age. Don’t wait until loss begins hindering your interactions. Be proactive now in protecting your hearing health for years to come.