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Do you know when the best time to get your hearing checked is? Whenever you experience a noticeable change to the way you hear, a hearing exam can help protect your hearing health. Getting in the practice of having an annual hearing exam is also advisable. Annual exams establish a health record for your hearing and mean that hearing issues can be caught early. A good way to remember it’s time for your annual exam is coordinating it with an event – like World Hearing Day.
On March 3rd, World Hearing Day will raise awareness about hearing loss and treatment. This year’s theme is “Check Your Hearing” and we couldn’t agree more. Hearing tests are an important part of hearing wellness. Your hearing plays a huge role in your life and staying on top of your hearing health has big rewards for your wellness, quality of life and so much more.
The Impact of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is incredibly common. Currently, over 45 million Americans face life with significant hearing loss, making it the third most common chronic health issue we face. When left undiagnosed and untreated, hearing loss begins to become a drag on everything from your income to your cognitive health. Studies have shown that untreated hearing loss is correlated with an increased risk of depression, falling accidents, heart disease and dementia. Untreated hearing loss makes a person more susceptible to anxiety and isolation alongside damage it can cause in a person’s social and professional life.
Hearing loss shuts down a big part of how we communicate and navigate through the world. Most hearing loss is permanent, but fortunately most cases can be managed effectively with the use of hearing aids and assistive devices. Contemporary hearing aids offer customized cutting-edge technology in a discrete, powerful device, programmed to boost your hearing where you need it the most.
What Is A Hearing Exam?
There’s no time like the present for getting your first hearing exam. Hearing tests are painless and non-intrusive, to detect and analyze hearing loss and other issues. A hearing test starts with a review of your medical history, talking about how you use your hearing in everyday life and discussing any changes or issues you have noticed with your hearing. After going over your hearing health history, an audiologist will look into your ears with a small handheld tool called an otoscope. The otoscope makes it easy to see problems in your ear canal like signs of infection, obstructions or a buildup of earwax.
Once the ear canals have been checked, it’s time for your hearing test. Hearing tests are based around listening and response. For the most commonly used metric, the pure tone test, you will listen for tone sounds through a pair of headphones in a quiet room. Every time you hear a tone played, you indicate it with a small button. If you experience hearing loss, pure tone testing can show you what frequencies of sound are the most difficult for you to hear. When programming a new set of hearing aids, your hearing specialist customizes the devices to reflect your specific hearing loss pattern. Depending on your hearing, your hearing test may include other simple tests as well, such as repeating spoken words or phrases to test your hearing comprehension.
You won’t be waiting for weeks for the results of your hearing test, they’ll be available to you soon after you finish the tests. Your hearing professional will go over the results with you. If hearing loss or other auditory issues are found, you will go over options for managing your hearing. Hearing aids or other assistive devices may be the best treatment option for you, and in that case your hearing specialist will talk over what you should look for in your assistive technology. That’s it! Hearing tests are easy and simple and they help you preserve and maintain lifelong healthy hearing.
Let World Hearing Day be a reminder this year that it is time for your next hearing check. Finding great audiological care doesn’t have to be a challenge. At Swift Audiology, we put your happiness and health at the center of what we do. With five convenient locations throughout Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, there’s always a Swift Audiology near you.