According to data released by the World Health Organization, around 400 million people suffer from hearing impairment or total hearing loss. Projected data reveals an estimated 2.5 billion people will likely suffer from some degree of hearing loss by 2050. In the US, approximately 15 % or 38 million people report trouble with their ears and hearing.
Regular checkups have become a norm for most people today. For instance, most people visit the doctor at least once a year, with dentists seeing most patients after every six months. Even your automobile gets an oil change after 3000 miles or so. But, when was the last time you had an ear exam?
If you’re like most people, you’ve never visited an ear specialist. In fact, unless you’ve had an ear infection or suffered from some degree of hearing loss, chances are low you’ve had ears checked.
Unfortunately, many people disregard ear pain and discomfort until it’s too late. In most cases, hearing loss and infections can be managed and even treated when diagnosed early. A hearing test takes a few moments to complete yet can be integrals in analyzing your ear health and overall wellbeing. Today, you can even manage to get an online hearing test remotely.
How often should you have a hearing test?
There are various ways to tell if you should go for a hearing tests exam. Generally, however, if you’ve never had the procedure done, you should think about getting started. As noted above, the sooner you can diagnose a problem, the more treatment and management options you’ll have.
Parents should also take an active role in taking children to their ear tests. A simple strategy, such as rewarding the child after an appointment, can help create a routine even after the kids grow up.
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) guidelines, if you have a clean bill of health and are aged between 18 to 40, you should get your ears checked at least once every two or three years.
However, if you fall into several categories, you should consider making frequent appointments with your ENT specialist. These categories and classifications include;
- People aged 60 and over – Age-related hearing loss, also known as presbycusis, is a common condition with age progression. Damage to the hair cells located in the inner ear cumulates and becomes prevalent.
This can then affect your ability to discern certain high frequencies. By the age of 65, a third of all people usually develop presbycusis, with the number increasing with age.
- People exposed to bursts of loud noise – Noise pollution affects people of ages. As a result, noise-induced hearing loss is nearly as common as presbycusis. If you work in a place where you’re exposed to loud noises, you could be at risk of developing hearing loss.
Experts advise you to get ear checkups at least once a year. Some professions where you could be exposed to loud noise for a long include law enforcement, military, manufacturing, and construction. Other activities could also worsen any underlying hearing conditions. These activities may include being around loud noise in concerts, motorcycle riding, and hunting.
- People suffering from hearing loss – While it may seem counterproductive at first, it’s important to keep your appointments, even when you’ve been diagnosed with hearing loss. Throughout the course of these checkups, your hearing may change as a reaction to different medications and aid programming. Regular checkups also help the doctors analyze any hearing aid’s efficacy and adjust to gain maximum output.
Basically, if you notice a drastic or sudden change in your hearing ability, you should consult an ENT physician and get tested by an audiologist. When it comes to hearing loss, it’s better to be proactive rather than reactive.
Top signs you need a hearing test
If you don’t have any hearing problems, you can keep the recommended diagnostic and testing regime. However, if you feel as though something is off, you should notify your primary healthcare service provider.
Some of the signs that you may need a hearing exam include;
- Your hearing gets dull like there’s water in your ears
- You have trouble hearing conversations, even in a mildly loud environment
- You regularly ask people to repeat or talk slower in ordinary conversations
- Your friends and family complain you listen to the radio or TV in a loud setting
- You have a hard time understating people over the phone
- You’re experiencing difficulty identifying high-pitched sounds
Usually, you may notice one sign as the others gradually develop. If you notice one or more of these signs, you shouldn’t hesitate to get in touch with your ENT specialist or physician.
What are the benefits of regular hearing tests?
Just like your other regular medical appointments, keeping regular hearing tests can prove beneficial to your health. As already identified, the sooner you get your results, the more treatment, care, and management tips you’ll have at your disposal. Unfortunately, if you wait until it’s too long, it could be too late for anything to be done.
A glimmer of hope lies with online hearing tests. With a digital device and headphones, you can now get your customized hearing exam. This test will then help specialists identify any underlying causes or hearing impairment. Don’t wait until it’s too late; get your online hearing test today and avoid any hearing loss doubts.