Your ears deserve so much more than they get. They are one of the most important parts of your body, and yet so many people have problems hearing because of it. Over 80 million people around the world do not have access to good quality hearing care. That’s a lot of people who could benefit from better detection rates for ear pathogens — like viruses and bacteria.
A regular checkup can go a long way toward improving your hearing. If you’re like many people, you don’t necessarily think about getting an ear checkup until something goes wrong. Even then, it takes a lot of courage to ask for help and pay attention to your hearing properly. Doing this every year can save you up to 15% on health insurance premiums in the long run. Here are some ways you can get started on the right track:
Get a Hearing Checkup
Despite what you might have heard, an ear checkup is not an “x-ray” or “MRI” of your ears. An ear exam is different from a full hearing assessment in that it only looks for defects within your ears. It’s a quick and cheap way to screen for hearing loss and provide information to help you make decisions about your hearing.
It’s especially helpful to get an ear checkup if you’re on any medications that could be affecting your hearing. When should I get an ear checkup? You should get an ear checkup if:
- You’re on any medication that could be affecting your hearing
- You have a suspicion of an infection in your ears
- Your hearing is getting less clear with age (you’re likely 40 or older)
- You have a family history of hearing loss
How should I prepare for an ear checkup? You’re likely going to be nervous. Being relaxed and at ease is key to getting the full benefit of an ear checkup. Take your time when answering the questionnaires, and just listen to the answers carefully. Don’t type anything into the computer or print out anything. Try to pay attention to the moment. Pay attention to your breathing and the way that you feel in your body. Try to recall what you were thinking about when you answered the questions.
Don’t Ignore Your Ears
When you’re not paying attention, dirt and bacteria can get in your ears. This can lead to infections and hearing loss. Pay particular attention to your sense of hearing while you’re sleeping or when you’re in a quiet environment. If you notice any ringing or buzzing in your ears, you should make sure to check them out in a quiet place. You should also make an effort to change your sleep routine so that you’re not constantly sleeping on your feet.
What should I do if my ears start to hurt or watery eyes occur during an ear infection? If your ears begin to hurt or watery eyes occur, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. An ear infection is usually accompanied by a wax build-up in the ear. Your doctor can check out whether or not this is the cause of your hearing loss.
Take the Test yourself
You can also try taking the hearing test yourself. It’s like taking an IQ test for your ears. You answer a series of questions about your hearing and your ability to hear a range of pitches. Then, your ears are checked. The results are immediately visible on a computer screen.
Become a Text Message Listener
If you have access to a computer, you can also become a text message listener. This is a great way to get an ear infection checkup and hear what questions other people are having. You can also create a text message list and send it to yourself. This will ensure that you don’t miss out on hearing tests or checkups because you were worried about something else.
Have an Ear Infection Checkup
If you’re wondering whether you have an ear infection, there are a few signs to watch for. You may have a scratchy or full-blown ear infection. You may be experiencing pain when you hear certain sounds or have certain smells. You may also be having trouble hearing other people. If you notice any of these signs, it’s a good idea to see an audiologist at New Hampshire Hearing Institute.
How should I treat an ear infection? An ear infection can be treated quickly with infection-fighting ear drops. You can also treat it more aggressively by using an antibiotic. If your ear infection is bad enough to warrant it, you can also have an ear scope exam. During this exam, your doctor will look inside your ears and can also swab your ears for infection.
You don’t need to be a doctor to tell you that your hearing is important. In fact, most people have a tendency to undervalue their hearing because they’re not aware of how important it is to their well-being. When it comes time for an ear exam, don’t be afraid to ask for help. In fact, it’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared.