Annual Hearing Exams
If annual hearing exams are not at the forefront of your thoughts on preventative health care, you aren’t the only one. People tend not to think much about their hearing until they notice something is wrong. Here at SightMD, we believe preventative hearing services are just as important as your annual physical and eye exams! Here’s why we think you should be proactive about your hearing health, and what you can expect from a hearing exam at SightMD.
Why Do You Need Your Hearing Tested?
Hearing problems are much more common than you may realize. In 2014, approximately 15% of American adults aged 18 or older reported some trouble hearing. 15% of American adults translates to about 37.5 million people! Of those people, 28.8 million could benefit from using hearing aids. Like wearing glasses or taking necessary medications, hearing aids help keep people healthy, and able to communicate with the world around them.
Untreated hearing loss has a surprising impact on the lives of those living with it. Untreated hearing loss can affect much more than just your ability to keep up with a conversation. Those who live with untreated hearing loss are more susceptible to:
- Anger and a negative outlook on life
- Social isolation, loneliness and feelings of rejection
- Depression (which can result in fatigue, stress and tension)
- Risk to personal safety as a result of decreased alertness
- Impaired memory and difficulty learning (untreated hearing loss is associated with increased risk of dementia)
- Reduced job performance and lower earning power
- Decreased psychological and overall health
Many people do not realize the extent to which untreated hearing loss can affect their lives. Imagine a world where you can see everything around you, but you can’t hear. Living with hearing loss is isolating, so make sure you get your hearing checked regularly at SightMD! Preventative hearing services help detect hearing loss before it begins to have a negative impact on your life. Your psychological and overall health can be greatly impacted by hearing loss, so here at SightMD, we work hard to make sure our hearing patients are healthy and happy.
How Often Should You Get Your Hearing Tested?
Hearing loss often occurs gradually, so it can be difficult to realize you have hearing loss until your hearing exam. This makes hearing exams that much more important. Hearing exams are fairly infrequent when you are young. As you age, or if you have any conditions that make hearing loss more common, you will attend hearing exams more often.
If you are 18 to 45 years old, a hearing exam should be a part of your annual physical every 5 years, unless otherwise recommended by your doctor. If you are 45 to 60 years old, you will have a hearing exam at your annual physical every 3 years. When you reach the age of 60+ you will attend a hearing exam every year as part of your annual physical. If you feel that you’re having more difficulty hearing, tell your doctor. It never hurts to be cautious when it comes to this precious form of communication!
Examinations start around age 18 because we understand that hearing loss does not just affect those in their older age. Especially today, there are a lot of things that can cause damage to young ears. Damaging levels of sound, particularly coming from MP3 players, clubbing and concerts, present unique hearing loss risk that was not as prevalent decades ago.
Here at SightMD, we do not believe in sitting back and watching people damage their hearing only to pick up the pieces later in life. Routine hearing exams help pick up on early hearing damage and allow us to prepare a treatment plan before any negative side effects can occur. The sooner hearing loss is diagnosed, then the sooner we’ll be able to help you preserve your hearing!
What to Expect at Your Annual Hearing Exam
Before your hearing exam at SightMD, your audiologist will get to know you by asking some questions about your lifestyle, as well as your family and medical history. A lot can be learned about your own hearing loss risk by discussing these things.
For example, your audiologist will ask if you have been exposed to any loud or explosive noise that could have damaged your hearing. You will be asked about your family history of hearing loss or ear problems. For those that have a family history of hearing loss, there is an increased risk that you may suffer from it as well. Your Audiologist will ask more questions about your daily activities, hobbies and employment, as these all can have bearing on your hearing health. During your annual hearing exam, make sure to ask any questions that you may have about your hearing. This is the perfect opportunity to get answers to your questions, and will help your audiologist better understand any concerns that you might have.
Your exam will last around 30 to 40 minutes. If the determination is made that you need hearing devices, extra time will be needed to discuss your options. During your hearing exam at SightMD hearing services, you can expect the following tests:
- Air conduction testing
- Bone conduction testing
- Speech testing
- Distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAE) testing
- Tympanometry or acoustic immittance testing
Your Hearing Exam Results
If you are in need of hearing devices, one of our Doctors of Audiology will walk you through your options. Your audiologist will explain what sounds you are not hearing and which hearing device will be able to help. You will be able to see and touch different styles to get a feel for which you would be most comfortable with. In some cases, you may be able to listen to a hearing device to hear the difference. The final choice is yours in regards to which hearing device you’d like to purchase.
Do you suspect you may be dealing with hearing loss or have questions about your hearing? Are you due for your next hearing exam? SightMD hearing services in Long Island is here for you. Call us or contact us online to schedule your hearing exam with a highly skilled Doctor of Audiology today.