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Martin Smith

15th August 2015

When Should I get My Hearing Tested?


Insidious problem

get your hearing testedIn most cases, people are unaware that they have hearing loss. It occurs so gradually that it’s almost undetectable, a good description for hearing loss is insidious.  Quite a delicious sounding word that, however the definition of that word is 

1. stealthily treacherous or deceitful

2. operating or proceeding in an inconspicuous or seemingly harmless way but actually with grave effect

Taking the nature of hearing loss into account, it’s no surprise that most people first find out they have hearing loss by being informed about it from friends or relatives. However, by the time people confront you about your hearing loss, it’s more than likely already relatively advanced.

If the wife just can't take anymore and has begun to plot to kill you, you can be pretty sure your hearing loss is a real problem. So the answer to the question, when should I get my hearing tested? is, before her indoors and the rest of the family group together to have you murdered!

Since hearing loss worsens over time and can't be totally recovered once it is lost. It’s critical to treat hearing loss as soon as possible, the earlier hearing loss is treated the better. This is for a host of reasons, untreated hearing loss is linked to a host of cognitive problems.

So when and how often should you get your hearing tested? Here are our recommendations:

Get The Baseline Early

It’ just never too soon to consider your first hearing test. The earlier you test your hearing, the earlier you can establish a baseline result that can be used for comparison during future tests. The only way to really assess if your hearing is getting worse is by comparing the test results with past testing.

The general thought is that hearing loss is an older person's problem. While it’s true that as you become older you’re more likely to have hearing loss a large proportion of people between the age of 20 and 69 have hearing loss. Hearing loss is widespread among all age groups, and being exposed to loud noise places everyone at risk irrespective of age. If you work in industry or are exposed to loud noise on a regular basis, you are at risk of hearing loss no matter how old you are. 

Yearly Tests After Age 55

At the age of sixty five, one out of every three people will have some level of hearing loss. We think that it is a good idea that you make hearing tests part of your yearly medical check up from the age of fifty five. Hearing loss is permanent, cumulative, and virtually undetectable. However, with once a year hearing exams, hearing loss can be discovered early, and treatment is always more effective when implemented earlier.

Evaluate Personal Risk Factors

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, (in the US), approximately 15 percent of Americans (26 million people) between the ages of 20 and 69 have high frequency hearing loss due to exposure to noise at work or during leisure activities. They aren't doing anything over there that we aren't doing here. Our world is a noisy place and we are exposing ourselves to more noise than ever during our leisure and employment. 

If you have been exposed to loud work environments or activities such as music concerts or even sporting events, it’s a good idea to have your hearing tested. It’s also a good idea to get an annual hearing test if you are consistently exposed to these conditions. In fact as part of the health and safety at work regulations, if you work in a noisy environment you should have your hearing screened on a regular basis. 

Recognise The Signs of Hearing Loss

As we have said, the signs of hearing loss are often first detected by others. You should consider a hearing test if someone has recommended it to you or if you experience any of these signs:

  • Muffled hearing
  • Trouble understanding what people are saying, especially in noisy settings or in groups
  • People commenting on how loud you have the TV or radio
  • Avoiding social situations and conversations
  • Ringing, roaring, hissing, or buzzing in the ear (tinnitus)
  • Ear pain, irritation, or discharge
  • Vertigo, dizziness, or balance problems

If the Damage is done, it's done

Hearing loss is common among all age groups, everyone of us live in the presence of several occupational and everyday risk factors for hearing loss. Hearing loss is hard to detect without a test, it gets worse over time, and it is certainly best treated early. With that in mind we recommend that you get your hearing tested early and regularly. You may end up saving further damage to your hearing with early treatment.  

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