Hearing loss is a lot like watching grass grow or paint dry. It is a process that develops over time and typically goes unnoticed until it becomes a problem. Because untreated hearing loss can affect overall cognitive, mental, emotional, and physical health as well as further damage to hearing, early detection is critical. I can provide much better care and achieve more satisfying results if I can identify your hearing loss early, so I have put together a list of reasons why you need regular hearing tests.
Establishing a Baseline
Just like with a vision test, regular hearing tests allow for tracking changes in your hearing and identifying potential hearing loss before it becomes a critical issue. Even if you do not have a hearing loss, the establishment of a baseline allows you to detect subtle changes and identify possible lifestyle, work related, or other causes. From these identified causes, we can help you to make lifestyle changes, use hearing protection, and/or provide other guidance to prevent your hearing loss from becoming worse.
Identifying Medical Conditions
Most people assume that hearing tests are for those who have a hearing problem, but a hearing screening does not just identify hearing loss. In some cases, hearing assessments can help detect physical or medical issues you might be unaware of and may not be presenting any symptoms. Diabetes, high blood pressure, balance or dizziness, and other medical conditions sometimes link to hearing loss or tinnitus. Consequently, a hearing screening should be an integral part of regular healthcare checkups.
Prevent Additional Health Issues
Besides causing additional damage to your capacity to hear, there are additional health issues that progress from untreated hearing loss. Hearing loss causes mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, and cognitive health issues such as dementia and early cognitive decline. Untreated hearing loss also contributes to accidents due to the inability to hear audible warnings, properly follow verbal directions, or falls related to balance and vertigo. Early detection of hearing loss helps prevent these issues.
Hearing Screenings for Children
Newborns in the United States undergo screening before being discharged from the hospital. Toddler screening should occur at the age of two or three,
or if there is a notable delay of speech development or irresponsiveness to loud or startling sounds. Additional screening should take place before a child starts school. Screenings usually take place every year throughout elementary school years. Adolescent hearing screenings are less common, but adolescent hearing screenings every couple of years are important, because many engage in damaging behaviors with the use of earbuds and headphones at high volumes or attend high-noise events where damage is possible.
Hearing Screening for Adults
After adolescence until age 50, it is advisable to make a hearing test part of your regular healthcare screening every three to five years. After age 50, hearing capacity can decline more rapidly, so annual hearing assessments are the best option for early detection and treatment.
Contact Hearing at Home
Hearing loss comes on slowly. In fact, it is so slow that the person with a hearing loss is usually the last one to know about it. If you exhibit signs of hearing loss, such as the family complaining about the volume on the television, frequently asking others to repeat themselves, or an inability to understand a phone conversation, it is probably time to contact Hearing at Home for a hearing test. However, even if you are not experiencing these symptoms, I advise you to consider regular screenings for hearing loss in order to establish and evaluate your hearing and possibly prevent further damage or identify other health conditions. Contact us to learn more about our hearing assessment, which we can provide in the comfort of your home, or to schedule a screening today.