The World of Sound: Why You Should Get Your Hearing Tested

The World of Sound: Why You Should Get Your Hearing Tested

Hearing loss can happen so gradually that you may not notice it at first. But even mild hearing impairment can affect your quality of life. Getting your hearing tested regularly is important for maintaining lifelong auditory health.

What a Hearing Test Checks

A hearing test, also called an audiometry exam or auditory screening, checks your ability to hear different sound frequencies and volumes. Using specialized equipment and controlled conditions when you get your hearing tested identifies the softest levels you can hear tones across pitches from low to high.

Test methods may include:

  • Pure tone screening: Listening for beeping sounds through headphones with one ear at a time
  • Speech awareness: Repeating back words presented at different volumes
  • Tympanometry: Eardrum response measurement using ear canal pressure changes

Your results profile hearing sensitivity across pitches, revealing any loss of auditory range. This establishes a baseline for tracking changes over time.

When To Get Tested

Even without noticeable hearing difficulties, adults should get tested at least every 10 years through age 50 and every 3 years after age 50. Those at higher risk due to work exposure, medical conditions, or medications should be tested more often. For example: 

Work Exposure

  • Prolonged loud noise – Construction, manufacturing, mining, transportation industry workers
  • Chemicals – Solvents, metals like lead & mercury, asphyxiants, pesticides/herbicides
  • Vibration – Heavy machinery operation, tool usage

Medical Conditions

  • Autoimmune disorders – Cogan’s syndrome, Meniere’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis
  • Infections – Otitis media, mastoiditis, measles, mumps, meningitis
  • Tumors – Vestibular schwannoma, glomus jugulare tumors
  • Neurological issues – Multiple sclerosis, cerebral aneurysm, stroke

Medications

  • Strong antibiotics – Macrolides, fluoroquinolones, antimalarials
  • Cancer medications – Cisplatin, vincristine, vinblastine
  • Diuretics – Furosemide, bumetanide
  • Anti-inflammatories – Aspirin, NSAIDs like ibuprofen
  • Immunosuppressants

See your doctor if experiencing possible hearing loss symptoms like:

  • Asking others to repeat themselves
  • Difficulty following conversations, especially in groups
  • Turning up the TV or radio volume louder than normal
  • Ringing, hissing, roaring, or buzzing sounds in the ears

Benefits of Testing

Early Detection

Hearing tests are capable of detecting damage before any observable symptoms or communication difficulties arise. Our ears compensate well for the gradual decline in sensitivity, masking what’s happening. A test measures actual hearing thresholds making loss apparent, often very early on. By revealing issues that aren’t noticeable yet in daily life, exams enable people to pursue preventative treatment and management right away instead of waiting. 

Early knowledge of hearing loss gives more options, too, ranging from medications to stop further progression to hearing aids optimized for current needs rather than playing catch-up later on. If interested in cochlear implants or learning sign language, it is far easier to pursue those solutions before having to lip read or constantly ask people to repeat themselves during conversations.

Accuracy

Exams reveal specifics about auditory shortfalls, helping tailor appropriate treatment plans that improve hearing results and daily life. Options range from hearing aids to sign language education.

Prevention

Many auditory issues, like noise-induced hearing loss or buildup of earwax, are preventable when caught early. Testing identifies risks to enable protective action.

Peace of Mind

Knowing your hearing status delivers reassurance or prompts you to seek help if needed. This empowers you to be proactive about decisions affecting your ability to communicate.

Safeguarding your lifelong hearing means getting tested routinely, understanding your results, and acting on any concerns raised. Protect your connections to the rich world of sound by scheduling an appointment today. Hearing everything life has to offer keeps the world vibrant.