The average person takes most of their five senses for granted until one is lost or compromised in some way. Hearing is one of those senses we depend on daily but don’t think about often, unless there is a problem. When was the last time you thought about having a hearing screening? It’s not unusual to overlook hearing until either someone mentions it to you, or you realize your hearing is not what it used to be.
The Initial Test: Baseline Testing
Would you be surprised to know hearing levels should be checked at age 21? If you were in elementary school the last time your hearing was monitored, you would fit right in with most people. Your first hearing screening as an adult sets the baseline. It is recommended that individuals have a hearing screening every 10 years if there is not an indication of hearing loss. After age 50, it is recommended every three years.
The baseline establishes a starting point from which future screeningscan be checked for any deviations. As long as nothing changes, you can expect to stay on the ten-year or three-year plan for checkups, depending upon your age.
Age-Related Changes in Hearing
After age 50, hearing may begin to change. Hearing screenings are done more frequently in order to catch problems before they have a chance to get worse. At age 65, approximately 30 percent of the population experiences some level of hearing loss.
You Can Experience Hearing Loss at Any Age
Even though a high percentage of senior adults experience problems with their hearing, it isn’t limited to that age group. Over 8 million people between the ages of 18 and 44 also have problems with hearing. Nearly 15 percent of those between the ages of 45 and 64 have impaired hearing. Some hearing loss is due to damage caused by constantly listening to loud music. Occupational hazards also contribute to the numbers,i.e., jobs where the work environment is consistently loud. Another common cause is ear infection.
Some individuals suffering from hearing loss may have a temporary problem. An overabundance of earwax can lead to temporary hearing problems. Swimmer’s ear or an inflammation of the external auditory canal can also cause hearing loss. A visit to the doctor will usually reveal the cause of a temporary problem.
Your hearing is vital. If you haven’t had a hearing screening yet, as an adult, it’s time to schedule one now. If you have, good for you and keep it up!Hearing screenings don’t take long, and if you’re under 50, it’s only every ten years. So what are you waiting for?
The doctors at Internal Medicine Diagnostic Center encourage you to have a baseline hearing screening done. Contact us or make an appointment to discuss your hearing with one of our healthcare providers today.