Generally, people tend to ignore the importance of hearing. They listen to music using earphones/headphones at full volume, clean their ears the wrong way, etc. Above all, they don’t know that getting a hearing test is as important as dental checkups and vision exams.
Although the cause of hearing loss and other auditory problems can sometimes be identified as an inborn disorder, a lot of hearing problems could’ve been avoided if the patient was diagnosed earlier. There are plenty of circumstances, especially for people with severe hearing loss, in which hearing aids would no longer help them. That’s why it’s crucial to talk to an audiologist and undergo a hearing exam as soon as you notice any signs of hearing loss to prevent it from progressing further.
Hearing evaluations are done by a certified and licensed audiologist. After checking the patient, they will do a hearing assessment in a hearing center. If the result confirms that the patient has a certain degree of hearing loss or other auditory problems, they will suggest a treatment plan. This would help manage the patient’s condition.
However, unlike other ailments, hearing loss, especially for mild cases, might not cause any pain at all, and the only onset symptom is difficulty hearing things. Hence, we’ve listed down some signs that tell you need to take a hearing exam:
- You’re Prone to Noise Exposure
Working in a noisy environment like a concert or construction site can damage your ears in the long run. That’s why it’s recommended for employees to wear hearing protectors if they’re constantly exposed to a noise level that is close to or greater than the Occupational Exposure Limits (OEL). As an added measure, they should also get their hearing checked regularly to prevent possible hearing loss.
- Your Family Has a History of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss and other auditory problems can be hereditary. So if you found out that one or a few members of your family had hearing loss, then you should also consider taking a hearing test. Proper diagnosis and early detection will do wonders in helping you manage your condition.
- You Have Diabetes
The cochlea is the organ responsible for transforming the sounds you hear into neural messages. However, since the cochlea relies on blood circulation to function, people diagnosed with diabetes are at an increased risk of hearing loss. Apart from seeing your endocrinologist, you should also consult an audiologist to detect the early onset of hearing loss and manage it as early as possible.
- You’ve Been on Strong Antibiotics
Taking too much or very strong antibiotics can damage your hearing. As a matter of fact, one potent class of antibiotics, known as aminoglycosides, may induce hearing loss, tinnitus, and balance problems as side effects. That’s one of the reasons why doctors are so strict in prescribing antibiotics to their patients. Apart from antibiotics, there are other drugs that can cause hearing damage.
So if you’re on medication and you noticed that your hearing has started to falter, talk to an audiologist and consider taking a hearing test right away. They can confirm if the drugs you’re taking are causing your hearing problem or if it is caused by other factors.
- You’ve Recently Had an Ear Infection
There are three types of ear infections: bacterial, viral, and fungal. A fungal ear infection, also known as otomycosis, is notorious for being able to pierce a hole in the eardrum.
When treated right away, the perforated eardrum can heal and close on its own. However, there are cases where patients experienced diminished hearing ability even after their eardrums are healed. Seeing an audiologist and taking a hearing evaluation can help in managing hearing loss.
- You’ve Never Had Your Hearing Checked
The symptoms of hearing loss and other auditory conditions aren’t always evident, and you may never know you have them until you undergo a hearing evaluation. So, if you’ve never done a hearing test before, don’t think twice about seeing an audiologist today. After all, it’s never too late to get your hearing checked.
Like your vision and dental health, you should also make it a habit to undergo regular hearing tests. If you aren’t sure when is the right time for you to get your hearing checked, these signs can help you tell. And if you are experiencing at least two to three of these symptoms, don’t think twice and visit the nearest hearing center right away for a hearing exam.