How many of you have made time for a hearing exam recently? It’s something that many people forget, especially because it’s so difficult to spot the symptoms of gradual hearing loss. However, regular exams will help you to catch issues early so that you can combat hearing loss.
When Should I Get an Exam?
According to the UK’s Association of Independent Hearing Healthcare Professionals (AIHHP), you should follow this schedule:
- Over 60’s – Get an exam every two years
- Aged 45 to 60 – Get an exam every three years
- Aged 18 to 45 – Get an exam every five years
Beyond this, several factors may affect your decision to get a hearing exam. An ear infection or an earache may prompt an exam, as might constant ringing in your ear.
Obviously, you should get an exam immediately if you notice a sudden hearing loss.
A doctor may also perform a hearing exam if you suffer a head injury.
What’s the Process?
Your doctor uses an otoscope to examine your ears and ear canals. They’ll lightly pull on your ear canal to open it up, before using the otoscope to look inside. This usually happens in a dimmed room, so your doctor can focus light on the canal.
You may feel a light gust of air during the procedure. The otoscope emits this gust to prompt a reaction from your eardrum. If the eardrum doesn’t move, you may have an infection or similar condition.
Are There Any Risks?
Assuming your doctor changes the tip of his otoscope before the exam, there is no risk. However, an unsterilized tip could spread an infection.
Use the information above to determine if it’s time for a hearing exam. A well-timed exam could spot issues that you haven’t noticed, so you can combat the effects of hearing loss.