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When was the last time you had a hearing exam? The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (ASHA) guidelines state that healthy adults ages 18-40 years old, who are not experiencing any noticeable hearing loss, should have their hearing tested every three to five years. While we know today that hearing loss can cause a host of serious health complications which are emotional, physical, and cognitive, insurance in most cases doesn’t consider hearing loss a serious health condition and rarely covers the cost of a hearing exam. There for many people, especially younger generations possibly haven’t ever had a test. While most people consider hearing loss a condition which effect older adult, it can happen at any time due to a wide range of causes such as exposure to unsafe levels of noise, infection, impact to the head, high blood pressure, diabetes, hypertension, exposure to ototoxic chemicals and even changes to the ear as we age. There are so many reasons to take an annual hearing exam—here are just five.
#1. Uncover Hearing Loss as Soon As Possible
You’d think you would know if you had hearing loss. But the truth is that hearing loss often goes undetected often for years! This is because hearing loss often occurs subtly and gradually erasing certain tones and pitches. This can make it hard to hear the chirping of birds or the wind in the trees. Some consonants are more difficult to hear, such as B, V, SH, F, S, H. This can make it so you can hear a person talk but it’s hard to make sense of what they are saying.
This can cause you to withdraw from friendships, and relationships, choosing isolation in favor of struggling to hear, even in the early stages of hearing loss. The longer it goes on. The worse it can become. It’s best to treat a hearing loss before it starts to affect your dearest relationships. The most common treatment is hearing aids, which based on you’re your hearing exam, can amplify the sounds you struggle to receive. Hearing aids can allow you to connect to the people you love with greater clarity and confidence. The sooner you detect a loss with an annual test the better!
#2. Compare Hearing Changes from Year to Year
Even if you know you already have a hearing loss, doesn’t mean it stops there. Hearing loss is often progressive becoming worse over time. Annual hearing exams allow you and us to compare your hearing loss over years. We can suggest solutions to protect your hearing better, adjust your hearing aid program or adapt to find a better solution for your hearing issues. Even if you don’t have hearing loss, you can notice trends in your hearing. It can detect if you have a deficiency in certain ranges, even if it’s not enough to be considered a hearing loss. Knowing the status of your hearing allows you to be prepared for when it’s time to seek treatment.
#3. Prevent Further Hearing Loss
Living with untreated hearing loss means putting your hearing health more each day. You may be tempted to turn up your phone, stereo, or TV up all the way just to hear. However, this can raise the volume up to unsafe listening levels. In some cases, it’s enough over the years to cause further noise induced hearing loss.
#4. Prevent Additional Health Problems
Besides the emotional impact of hearing loss, such as depression, anxiety and chronic loneliness, hearing loss also increases your risk of accidents and falls leading to hospitalization.
In addition, untreated hearing loss is a risk to your cognitive health. When the cells in your ears stop sending signals to the brain, some of the brain cells which process sound don’t get activated. Over time this can contribute to cognitive decline, cell death, brain atrophy and a greater risk of developing dementia.
#5. Hearing Tests are Quick and Easy
If you have been putting off a hearing loss, it’s important to understand that not only are they quick painless and easy, but they are essential to your overall health. To find out more, reach out to us today. We are here to answer all your questions and help you find the best solution that right just for you!