There are so many things that we do not consider in life until they strike us. There are all sorts of ailments that people face that the general public has no clue about. I know virtually nothing about blurry vision and cataracts. My interest in thinning hair and baldness are non-existent. Simply put, those issues do not touch me and therefore I am focused on other things. At a recent doctor's appointment I took a hearing test. Previously my attention to ears and everything about them was minimal. Now because of the results of my exam I am much more engaged in the topic.

The hearing test revealed that my ability to hear things at a certain high pitch was somewhat compromised. According to the doctor's this should not be a major issue in the short term, but I needed to keep an eye on it and seeing a specialist would not be a bad idea. Because the last thing I wanted to do was ignore an issue that might get worse, I schedule an appointment at the local ear, nose, and throat doctor.

I was nervous when I arrived at the ear, nose, and throat doctor. I have been very healthy throughout my life and while I have faced career and financial obstacles, the thought of my body breaking down in any way was alarming.

I took another hearing test at the specialist's office and they calmly told me that I really did not have a lot to worry about. My “ailment” was something many people deal with and most do not even know that they have. While it is important to keep and eye on it and be aware that it is something that could get worse, the likelihood is that without some sort of significant event taking place, being around very loud noises, I probably would never suffer major consequences.

While I probably got lucky with this sort of prognosis, it sends two pretty clear messages. First, I need to be cognizant of my condition and make sure I get a hearing test every time I see the doctor just to ensure the issue has not evolved, and second, addressing red flags when they arise is the only way to go. I have never understood people that put off procedures or investigation. If you get good news, your mind is at ease. If you get bad news, it is always best to detect things early and address them rather than letting a condition get worse.

I recognize that taking a hearing test once a year is now a part of my life. That seems like a pretty fair trade off for making sure my ears remain healthy and knowing quickly when I need to address an issue. As for vision and hair, I'm still in good shape in those categories. Let me assure you, I'll know and act accordingly the day that situation changes.