Early Hearing Testing: Why It Matters

hearing specialist administering diagnostic ear evaluation

Our hearing is an important part of our overall health, which is why we should act early to protect it. When a baby is born, there are a number of hearing tests carried out to assess their general health and development. One of these tests is the newborn hearing test. Even at just a few hours old, it is possible to tell if there is hearing loss present. 

But what are the benefits of having an early hearing test, and do they have an impact on the outcomes of child development? 

How Is the Hearing Test Carried Out?

The test is a very simple and pain-free one. The most common one the automated auditory brainstem response (AABR) places a small electrode on the head. This electrode measures the nerves responsible for hearing when a sound is played. The results are automatic and you don’t need to rely on the baby being awake or doing anything to get the results. 

In most cases, the test will result in normal reading. When it doesn’t, then further testing is required to assess the level of hearing loss and potential cause. 

Effect On Childhood Development

Hearing loss at a young age, or from birth, is very different from living with hearing loss as an adult. A lot of development in the first three years of life relies on being able to pick up audio cues from the people and environment around you. Hearing is also vital to language development. 

It is well documented that child who were diagnosed with hearing loss and receive treatment in the first six months of life had much better developmental outcomes in speech, communication and social interaction.

Early Hearing Tests in Adults

As you get older, you may experience hearing loss due to age, sound or another medical condition. Early detection of this can prevent a number of other potential side effects including: 

  • Trips and falls: Your ears play an important role in balance. This could lead to tripping or falling in the home or when out. 
  • Social interaction: Not being able to hear causes many people to miss out on conversations and socializing. Being fitted for a hearing aid can significantly improve your social connections to your friends and family. 
  • Reduced medical costs: Identifying hearing loss early can potentially reduce your medical costs. As with most medical conditions, early detection is better for several reasons and may mean less treatment in the long term.
  • Better health: Untreated hearing loss, when left untreated can cause several issues including depression and dementia in people. Treating it as early as possible is the key to preventing this by improving the hearing loss with hearing aids or similar. 

Taking Control of Your Health

It’s always better to be well informed about your health, knowledge is the key here. The sooner you undergo a hearing test, the sooner you know what you’re dealing with and how you can treat it. If your audiologist recommends a hearing aid, then you will benefit from this sooner and your ears and brain will adapt to using it. 

The Importance of Regular Hearing Tests

Treat your hearing like any other aspect of your health. Regular visits to your audiologist will ensure that any hearing loss or other issue is detected early. Put them on your calendar as you would a visit to an optometrist or dentist. Your audiologist will be able to conduct hearing tests and professional ear cleaning services that keep your ears as healthy as possible. 

They can also provide you with recommendations regarding hearing protection to protect your hearing from noise-induced hearing loss.

Takeaways

Early hearing tests are important. At birth, it’s important to know if a baby is experiencing hearing loss. Knowing this can lead to early intervention and better developmental outcomes as they get older. 

As an adult, if you experience any hearing loss at all, you should go and visit your audiologist as soon as possible. Don’t wait for it to pass or decide to just live with it, there is a lot your audiologist can do to help you by recommending a hearing aid or other device. 

Contact The Hearing Spa

We have a well-earned reputation for providing our patients with the very best hearing care. Our audiologists are extensively trained and experienced in a range of preventative care options for your hearing. By having a hearing test early, we can act quickly and provide you with the tools to improve your hearing loss.

Contact a member of The Hearing Spa today at 941-866-6253 or 941-866-6216.