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The Ins and Outs of Hearing Exams

And Why You Need One!

Yearly checkups are part of your to-do-list every year, just like paying taxes or getting your tires rotated. But as you think about scheduling your next checkup, ask yourself, when is the last time you checked your ears? 

If you begin to strain to hear conversations, experience pain or ringing in your ears, you know that it’s time to have a hearing exam. But what about when everything seems fine?

The real question should be, is everything really fine?  It can take between 7 and 10 years for most people with hearing loss symptoms to take a hearing exam, resulting in further delayed treatment and worsening hearing loss.

There are multiple benefits to having a yearly hearing exam. Like with other health screenings, you get the opportunity to ask questions and learn about the risks you face. Additional benefits include:

    • Identify potential problems. Hearing tests allow your hearing care provider to instantly see any warning signs and can act as a starting point for future exams to detect further decline. If you are suffering from hearing loss, your hearing exam will show the degree of your hearing loss. and you can discuss the best course of treatment.
    • Diagnose underlying conditions. Sometimes hearing loss is caused by an undiagnosed medical problem. Diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, and other medical ailments can cause hearing loss. A hearing test can be the first step toward achieving better health for your entire body. An audiogram can also diagnose if you have tinnitus, ringing in your ears.
    • Treatment. Should your hearing exam reveal hearing loss, your hearing care provider can discuss your options and help you select a hearing aid and accessories that work with your lifestyle.
  • Prevent further hearing loss. Hearing loss is a degenerative condition, which worsens over time. Progressive hearing loss can lead to depression, social withdrawal, isolation, and other forms of cognitive decline. 

TYPES OF TESTING

Baseline Testing
While you’re having your annual physical exam, your doctor can perform a baseline test. This test can determine how good your hearing is and can be used by a hearing care provider to tell if there has been any hearing loss in the future.

Hearing Screening
Hearing screenings are quicker and are used to see if you may need more screenings. If you pass, there’s a high likelihood that you don’t have hearing loss. A failed screening will result in a visit to a specialist for a more detailed evaluation to determine the severity of your hearing loss and which methods would be best to treat it.

Online Screening
According to HealthyHearing.com, “Hearing loss is a touchy subject that can bring out the procrastinator in even the best of us.” If you prefer not to wait until your regular physical to test your hearing, you can perform a free online hearing test.

As a preventative measure, you should have your hearing tested every 10 years. Once you turn 50 you should have a hearing exam performed every three years. Ready to book your hearing evaluation? Learn more about the providers in your area.