Hearing is an important sense that needs to be protected by regularly scheduling hearing tests. Some people never schedule a formal hearing test, and depend on the results of a routine check done at an annual health and wellness physical to inform them of any problems. While these checks could reveal if a problem exists, it is important to have a more thorough exam done by an audiologist. Preventative care can be crucial in protecting the ear from potential damage and possibly reduce a loss in hearing from a serious concern.
What Is the Importance of Hearing Tests?
Hearing loss isn’t just a concern for aging adults. Babies and children can also experience hearing problems, and when these challenges go undiagnosed, it can impact the way children develop speech patterns, learn and understand language and engage with others socially. As adults age, it is common to experience a degree of hearing loss, but there are some lifestyle influences that can cause a more rapid decline in hearing abilities. By getting routine hearing exams, you can better protect your hearing health.
What Are the Signs of Hearing Loss?
The early signs of hearing loss differ by age range., but these signs are crucial indicators that it is time to have a hearing test done. Because babies are generally non-verbal, the signs displayed are a lack of hearing awareness.
- Doesn’t turn the head toward a sounds
- Doesn’t react to loud noises
- Doesn’t respond or engage when the name is called
- Selective responses/engagement with sounds
As children develop, the signs of hearing loss can be seen when:
- Speech development is delayed
- Speech patterns are unclear
- Delayed responses or lack of cognitive processing with verbal directions
- Listening to television or devices at a high volume
- Speaking too loudly in a normal setting
For older adults, hearing loss may be gradual and not always easily noticeable. However, some of the signs of loss are similar that that of children’s experiences.
- Muffled sounds or speech
- Requests to repeat verbal communication, speak more loudly or speak slowly
- Turning up the volume to a radio or television
- Difficulty engaging in conversations in loud environments
Why Should I Get a Hearing Test?
Hearing screenings are not the same as hearing tests, though they are both designed to detect hearing problems before they develop into a serious concern. Screenings often simulate a real-world hearing situation and are given on a pass or fail basis. Poor results on a screening test can indicate the need for a more in-depth hearing assessment, which can be done by a number of tests. If you’ve experienced some of the signs of hearing loss and have concerns about your hearing abilities, it is time to talk to an audiologist. This is an experienced doctor who deals directly with hearing problems and can uncover what the underlying cause of hearing loss may be.
How Do I Protect My Hearing Health?
Age-related hearing loss can’t always be prevented, but there are steps you can take to limit the damage done to your ears that occurs over time. Here are some important ways to protect your hearing.
1. Minimize Exposure To Loud Noises
Reduce your risk of noise-induced hearing loss by limiting your exposure to loud noises. Use protective hearing devices when working in an environment with loud machinery or equipment, and limit your time in noisy venues such as concerts, indoor sporting arenas or other places. Use earplugs when using a lawnmower or chainsaw. Take precautions when exposed to loud noises.
2. Give Your Ears a Break
Protect your hearing by turning down the volume when listening to music or sounds through headphones or earbuds, as well as when using a soundbar or speakers. Let your ears rest when exposed to loud noises or after listening through devices that feed sound directly into your ear.
3. Protect Your Ears
Don’t put cotton swabs or other sharp objects into your ears, as this could injure sensitive organs. Keep your ears dry to avoid developing infections that could damage your ears. Control the stress and anxiety levels in your life to help prevent undue pressure in your ears that can lead to tinnitus.
Who Can Address My Hearing Concerns?
Happy Ears Hearing Center can conduct a hearing test to help assess your hearing abilities. In addition to working with loss, we also provide the latest in hearing aid technology to help you live your best life. Make an appointment today.