Getting your hearing tested is a painless and easy process, yet too many people tend to put off these essential exams. Some are required to take tests as part of their noisy workplace environments, but for most people, the decision to get a hearing test is an individual choice.
Though it might seem like an unnecessary hassle to some, hearing tests are the only way to get a sense of your current hearing ability. This baseline reading is essential for the future, determining if you have lost subjective hearing ability and in what range.
If you find yourself considering getting a hearing test without taking the next step to actually make an appointment, the following considerations might help push you out the door and to your hearing health professional’s office.
How Often Should I Be Tested?
If you have never had a hearing test, then you should schedule an appointment right away to set your baseline reading. Any adult would do well to have a starting reading, because hearing ability is individualized throughout the lifespan.
As a general rule, people should have hearing tests every five years between the ages of 40 and 60, but several other factors might make it necessary to get more frequent tests. Those who work in noisy environments should get annual tests, and employers should foot the bill for these exams.
Once you pass the threshold of age 60, getting a test every 1-3 years is recommended in order to pick up on any differences in hearing that you don’t notice on your own. Finally, if you notice any changes in your hearing ability, make an appointment for a hearing test right away. This test will determine if you do indeed have hearing loss, how severe it is, and if hearing aids are right for you.
Why Should I Test My Hearing?
The reasons for hearing tests go beyond the basic comfort and convenience of being able to hear easily in everyday contexts. In addition to this basic benefit of a hearing test, there are a number of other health consequences of untreated hearing loss.
In the physical realm, hearing loss has been associated with conditions as wide-ranging as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, accidents and injuries, and vertigo. These physical concerns are not all caused by hearing loss, per se, but they are related to such a degree that hearing loss can be considered an early warning sign of these conditions.
Beyond physical health, hearing loss is associated with a wide range of mental health conditions, as well. Those who have untreated hearing loss tend to have trouble communicating with others. When that struggle becomes acute, many people shy away from awkward social encounters in which it becomes clear they are not able to understand. When we experience social isolation, our minds can experience that loneliness as depression, anxiety, frustration, or other mental health outcomes. Even those who continue to engage in social contexts with hearing loss can have the sensation of social isolation due to their inability to follow what is going on around them.
Beyond these mental health consequences of untreated hearing loss, cognitive risks exist, as well. Those who have untreated hearing loss even have higher rates of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease than those who have hearing ability or wear hearing aids. Many explain this tendency toward more rapid cognitive decline in the same way as mental health struggles such as depression. When a person is unable to communicate, the brain can struggle to compute a complex mélange of sounds, and that confusing process seems to spill over into other types of cognition, as well.
Schedule a Hearing Test!
With these many benefits of treating hearing loss, the necessity to get a hearing test is impossible to explain away. Though it might seem like an unnecessary hassle in the short term, you can benefit greatly from simply knowing how your hearing ability compares to others and your own personal history.
Once you have knowledge of your hearing ability, the rest of the path toward treatment will be laid out before you, including recommendations of which hearing aids are suited to your individual lifestyle and needs.
Contact us today to schedule your appointment!