Hearing is something we all tend to take for granted until there is a problem. Unfortunately, many problems with hearing start quietly and advance slowly, and there may be ten to fifteen years of progressive damage before we realize it is a problem. By getting regular hearing screenings, it may be possible to catch hearing issues in their early stages, making complete hearing loss avoidable.
What Hearing Loss Can Cause
Hearing loss is a lot more than simply not hearing. It can make it difficult to learn new things. It is also something that increases the amount of isolation a person feels. This, in turn, leads to a greater chance of major depression. All of this causes problems with relationships and can seriously reduce the quality of your life.
When To Start
Most of us remember having a test while in grade school where we have to raise our hand on the side where we hear a beep. This is often the only time we have a test unless there is some indication of a problem. Once you are in your early post-high school period, sometime between the ages of 18 and 21, you should have a test done. This will allow your doctor to see what “normal” hearing is for you.
An Individualized Thing
The results of your baseline hearing test will allow your doctor to have a starting point that will set up the timing of your regular checkups throughout your life. This will be determined by a number of factors such as the results of your baseline screening, the kind of noise you are exposed to on a regular basis, and your age.
You don’t have to get tests regularly at this age unless you are exposed to certain things in your daily life. For example, if you work in a place where you are exposed to high noise regularly, this means you should get your hearing checked regularly, at least once a year. The same goes for if you are regularly exposed to the sound of motorcycles, guns or very loud music. All these are situations that can damage hearing ability over time and it is essential that you catch the damage early. This regular exposure to loud noise can make the hearing loss occur rapidly.
Hearing ability tends to increase with age. With this in mind, it is necessary to get your hearing tested at least once every two years, or more often if you notice an issue such as missing words of conversations, words sounding mumbled or other people asking you why you talk so loudly or need the television turned up so loud. These are all possible indicators that the hearing loss is increasing. By the time this happens, you may be facing the need to wear a hearing aid.
You get regular checkups to make sure your doctor catches any major illnesses before they can cause problems. You get regular dental checkups and consistently brush your teeth to help keep them from developing problems. You also have your eyes checked regularly. It is always to work at preventing issues than it is to fix them. It only makes sense that you keep up on getting regular hearing tests in order to give you the best chance of being able to hear well as long as possible.
We Can Help
At New York ENT, we take your hearing seriously. Make an appointment today to have your hearing checked and set up a schedule for testing that meets your particular needs. Start today to help you hear tomorrow.