After all, our sense of hearing helps us connect with the world around us. It offers us the ability to socialize with one another, the pleasure of listening to music, and the security of detecting danger by hearing an alarm or an oncoming vehicle. Most of the time, we engage in hearing sounds without any conscious effort. However, when hearing loss occurs, tasks that may have come easily at one time can become more challenging. A tricky thing about hearing loss is that it usually involves a gradual decline in hearing over a prolonged period of time. The typically slow process of hearing loss allows the brain to adapt to subtle changes as they occur, so there is no experience of sudden or dramatic hearing loss to alert the patient to the loss of function. Therefore, a person often does not realize the severity of hearing loss they have until they have a hearing test. In fact, in our experience, the majority of patients who definitely need or would benefit from hearing aids feel their hearing is “just fine.” Often it is their family and friends who recognize that the patient is having problems understanding conversational speech.
When To Get A Hearing Test
Everyone should know his or her current hearing status. The earlier we can detect a hearing loss, the easier and more effective the treatment can be. According to the American Speech and Hearing Association, healthy adults should have their hearing screened at least every decade through age 50 and at three-year intervals thereafter. Having a regular hearing test can provide validation that hearing is normal and serve as a baseline of your hearing for future reference. A baseline hearing test becomes very useful if you are ever diagnosed with a hearing loss, because your audiologist will be able to monitor how quickly your hearing has changed over time to determine whether a medical evaluation is appropriate as well as the best treatment options.
Maybe you have missed the opportunity to track your hearing from an early age but now wonder if you may have a hearing problem. Or you have had a hearing test as suggested but feel that something has changed since the last hearing screening was performed. The following are some indicators of hearing loss and signs that you should have a hearing test:
- Do you often hear others talking, but cannot make out the words?
- Do you experience ringing or roaring in your ears?
- Do you need to turn up the volume of the television or music louder than others like it?
- Do you frequently ask others to repeat what they have said?
- Do you feel like others are mumbling?
- Do you often avoid social settings or withdraw from conversations?
- Have you noticed a sudden change in your hearing?
Get A Hearing Test in About 20 Minutes
If you’ve answered yes to any of the above questions, a hearing test is recommended. A hearing test is a simple, noninvasive process that takes only about 20 minutes. A hearing test is also recommended if you:
- Are under the age of 50 and have not had your hearing tested within the past 10 years
- Are aged 50 or over and have not had your hearing tested within the past three years
- Notice that one ear definitely hears better than the other, but you are not sure why
- Have undiagnosed dizziness
- Have a job that exposes you to loud noise and have not had a hearing test in the past few years
Don’t Wait Another Day
Although the stigma about hearing aids has persisted, most of today’s hearing aids are as undetectable as contact lenses. Hearing health directly impacts the quality of life of most of our elderly, and they can often be the last to recognize it. Start the process now to learn about the status of your or a family member’s hearing and how medical technology and doctors of audiology can help address your mild or even severe hearing loss.