Don’t Forget the Ears: The Importance of Annual Physical Checkups

Physical checkups are an important annual routine most people follow in order to keep their bodies in optimal condition. Most often, the annual exams scheduled are overall physicals, eyes, and teeth. There is no question that every system in the body needs a thorough examination to discover potential health issues.

But what about the auditory system?

Unlike a toothache, there is no physical signal that hearing loss is occurring. Since hearing loss typically declines gradually, most people take their hearing for granted until they start to notice a problem. Therefore, it is important to include a thorough diagnostic hearing evaluation in the annual physical routine.

At what age should the auditory system be checked?

Barring sudden hearing loss because of traumatic events or medical reasons, 40 is the optimal age to start checking the auditory system. Older individuals who have never had their hearing tested or have not had their hearing tested in several years should see a doctor of audiology as soon as possible. It is important to detect hearing loss early so that appropriate treatment can be administered, thereby reducing the effects of untreated hearing loss, such as increased chance of early onset cognitive deficiency, more rapid brain atrophy, emotional and social withdrawal, and depression.

Who should perform the hearing test?

It is strongly recommended that a doctor of audiology perform the hearing evaluation. A doctor of audiology has not only been trained to diagnose hearing loss, but has also been trained to recognize irregularities found during the physical examination of the ear and in the results of the hearing evaluation. Tumors and other potentially harmful health issues have been found and corrected because a doctor of audiology recognized telltale signs in the results of a hearing evaluation and referred the patient to an otolaryngologist.

The diagnostic hearing evaluation is a noninvasive procedure that has the potential to save lives and should be a part of your routine annual physical checkup. If you, or a loved one, have not had your hearing evaluated, or if it has been several years, please contact your local doctor of audiology and schedule your hearing evaluation. It will only take a few minutes of your time, and it could save your life.

For more information, contact us or call (479) 202-9661, and let the staff at Bella Vista Hearing Center help you with your hearing healthcare needs.