Why Is A Hearing Test Important?
If you lead a busy life, it can be easy to overlook getting your hearing tested. Hearing tests, however, are essential. That’s because they help you identify problems today so that you can better manage your hearing in the future.
The average person waits around 10 years before an audiologist diagnoses their hearing loss. By that time, it is often too late to prescribe preventative measures that could have stopped further deterioration.
Ideally, you should get a hearing test every few years. Younger people – those under the age of 60 – should schedule one every three to five years. And those over 60 should try to get hearing tests annually since the risk of hearing loss increases exponentially past this age. Children should also receive regular testing to identify any issues during their development.
So, why is a hearing test so important? Let’s take a look.
It Can Diagnose an Underlying Medical Condition
Aging is the root cause of most forms of hearing loss, but not all. In fact, sometimes hearing loss can be a sign of a serious medical condition. For example, patients who develop type two diabetes or have high blood pressure are much more likely to report being hard of hearing. Because of this, many patients who go for hearing tests discover conditions that they never knew they had. As a result, they can manage them more effectively and get the medications and lifestyle support that they need.
It Can Prevent Further Damage
Audiologists define various categories of hearing loss. These include mild, moderate, severe and profound. With each level, the effect of hearing loss on patients’ quality of life varies dramatically. Moving from mild to moderate hearing loss, for instance, could mean going from a situation where you can hear a regular conversation to one where you can’t.
However, catching hearing loss early can change that. If your hearing loss is the result of an underlying medical condition, you can receive treatment that slows down the damage being done to your body. You can also get hearing aids to make taking part in social interaction easier, reducing your risk of isolation and depression.
Being able to hear is also important for safety reasons. Before a hearing aid fitting, you might not be able to detect the sound of a fire alarm, approaching traffic or other hazards in your environment. But afterwards, these sounds become more obvious.
It Lets You Track Changes in Your Hearing
Your ability to hear isn’t static over time. Instead, it chops and changes depending on your biology. For this reason, yearly hearing tests are still important, even for those with hearing aids. They provide an opportunity to adjust the settings and ensure the correct setup.
Tracking hearing is critical for another reason too: it lets you determine whether your lifestyle is helping you or not. If your diabetes is under control, for instance, your hearing should remain relatively stable over time. However, if it is not under control, then you may notice a sudden worsening.
It Allows You to Start Treatment
Treatment is a great way to prevent your hearing loss from getting worse. But you will only get the help that you need if you go for a hearing test.
If you’ve never been for a hearing test, then going for a hearing test should be a priority. You may also want to consider a hearing test if:
- You work in a noisy environment, surrounded by loud people, machines and vehicles
- You can hear a ringing, buzzing or whirring sound in your ears that comes on frequently
- You are struggling to hear high-pitched noises, such as sirens, whistles and children’s voices
- You find yourself asking people to repeat themselves in conversations because you can’t quite make out what they are saying
- You don’t use the telephone because you know that you will struggle to hear the person on the other end
There are many treatments available for people with mild to severe hearing loss. Your audiologist will run through your list of options and make recommendations based on your case history and results.
It Addresses Balance Disorders
Lastly, a hearing test can help you address balance disorders that stem from problems with the canals in the inner ear. Following diagnosis, you can get treatments and medications to prevent symptoms from recurring.
If you would like to learn more or schedule a hearing test, please contact The Center for Audiology in Houston at 713-255-0035 or Pearland at 713-800-5050.