When was the last time you had a hearing test? If it’s been a while since your hearing was checked, it might be a good idea to put it on your to-do list. By making hearing tests part of your wellness routine, you stay on top of any issues that may arise. You can assume that is fine, but 37.5 million Americans over the age of 18 have reported some type of hearing loss.

If you have started to turn up the volume on your television or radio or ask people to repeat the same thing, you may be experiencing hearing loss.

Visiting a hearing healthcare provider can help you maintain your quality of life by preserving your hearing. Your hearing care professional can be a strong advocate for you during the examination process and the assessment of your hearing quality. These professionals are the only ones who can administer a comprehensive hearing test that is vital in diagnosing and treating hearing loss.

There are even some options online and over the phone for hearing screenings. To help you understand the importance of this medical exam, here are three reasons why you should have a hearing exam regularly.

Hearing loss can be gradual

You are unlikely to be able to hear perfectly one day and wake up without hearing the next. While some situations can cause your hearing to fade quickly, it is probably not as dramatic. Hearing loss in adults tends to occur gradually and, unfortunately, that means that many people do not realize they have hearing difficulties until significant hearing loss occurs. Regular hearing tests can help identify any problems at an early stage.

The earlier it is detected, the easier it will be to stay on top of it. If tests indicate a hearing loss, your doctor may recommend treatment options to help restore your hearing. If you have hearing problems, it is best not to ignore it, as it is not something that will heal on its own.

Hearing loss can be treated

Some people with hearing loss may not feel the need to ask for help because they may assume that nothing can be done. This is not the case. Hearing loss can be a symptom of a variety of causes, and the causes that lead to hearing loss are often treatable.

If there is an infection, excessive ear wax buildup, or signs of tinnitus, there are numerous treatment options available. Regardless of the cause of the type of hearing loss, certain treatments can help.

Your doctor can recommend treatments to relieve symptoms and hopefully improve your hearing. If no obvious underlying cause can be found, hearing aids or even surgery can provide a solution. Regardless of the reason your hearing may be affected,

Tests are easy to perform

For some, going to see a healthcare professional of any kind can seem like a daunting and time-consuming task. Many fear tests and evaluations, and anxiety can be common.

If you are afraid to get a hearing test or think you just don’t have time, hearing tests are quick and painless. There is usually no discomfort associated with hearing exams and your audiologist will do everything possible to help you stay calm.

How is the test performed?

During the exam, you will be asked to listen and provide a response to different sounds, tones, and noises. This will test how well you can hear.

These tests generally take a short period of time, and the results will help you and your audiologist determine treatment options for your situation.

Consider making regular hearing exams part of your health care routine to keep up with your hearing health. Your hearing affects the professional and social aspects of your life. Keeping track of your hearing health with regular exams will ensure that you maintain your quality of life even if you only experience partial hearing loss.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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