When To Get A Hearing Test

Hearing loss is often overlooked as a serious health problem. Since hearing is not commonly screened by a family doctor, it is important to be proactive with your own hearing health. Hearing tests are an important step in identifying and treating hearing loss. Early detection of hearing loss is critical to creating and implementing effective treatment and rehabilitation.

Why You Should Take a Hearing Test

Hearing tests provide baseline information for evaluating the degree and type of your hearing loss. Typical hearing tests include a variety of measurements to rule out any medically treatable causes of hearing loss. Speech testing goes hand-in-hand with hearing tests. Speech testing determines your ability to understand speech sounds and determines your speech reception threshold (SRT). The SRT records the faintest speech heard half the time. Speech testing in a variety of environments provides the best insight into how specific environments affect hearing. For example, difficulty understanding speech amidst background noise is a common complaint of people with hearing loss and this information is important for proper therapy.

Hearing tests should be scheduled if you exhibit any signs of hearing loss, are over 55, and/or you are exposed to loud noise in your work or recreation. Signs of hearing loss include having to ask people to speak up or repeat themselves, difficulty following or participating in conversations in group settings, the inability hear telephone, radio, or television at volumes suitable for others. Any of these symptoms may point to hearing loss and such loss can occur at any age. If you or someone you love suffers from one of these symptoms, be sure to contact an audiologist for testing.

Deaf woman takes a hearing testWhile hearing loss can occur at any age, older adults are most susceptible to such loss. Hearing does decline with age and if you are over 55 you should get your hearing tested regularly. The earlier you identify hearing loss, the better able your hearing healthcare team can address the situation.
A very common source of hearing loss is prolonged exposure to load noises. This is common in work environments such as production plans, construction sites, and the music industry. Annual hearing tests can provide baseline information on your hearing and help you identify safety precautions to prevent any decline in your hearing.

Since hearing changes over time, the only way to assess your abilities is through regular testing. Even if you have loss and are using a hearing aid, regular tests ensure that your current treatment is effective. Adjustments to hearing therapy are not uncommon, but the need for such adjustments is only identified through testing.

Untreated, hearing loss only gets worse with time. This loss can lead to an increased inability to communicate and, consequently, an increase sense of isolation. This isolation affects your work relationships, family connections, and sense of well-being. All of these affect your quality of life and without treatment can lead to depression. However, with early detection via a hearing test, treatment can begin and, if necessary, hearing aids used to enhance your ability to communicate. If you fall into any of the aforementioned categories of persons ripe for a hearing test, do not delay. Your quality of life and your relationships depend on your ability to communicate. Use your hearing test as a way to gather information and make informed pro-active decisions about your well-being.

Related Posts