It’s hard to believe but most people have gone more than ten years without having a hearing test.
One of those individuals is Harper. She schedules a checkup and cleaning with her dentist every six months and she shows up dutifully for her annual medical exam. She even gets her timing belt changed every 6000 miles! But her hearing exam typically gets ignored.
Hearing evaluations are essential for a multitude of reasons, early detection of hearing loss being one of the most essential. Harper’s ears and hearing will remain as healthy as possible if she determines how frequently to get her hearing tested.
So, just how often should you have a hearing assessment?
It’s alarming to think that Harper hasn’t taken a hearing exam in 10 years. Or we might think it’s perfectly normal. Our reaction will vary depending on how old she is. Depending on age, guidelines will differ.
- If you are over fifty years of age: Once a year is the suggested schedule for hearing tests in people over 50 years old. As you get older, the noise damage you’ve sustained over a lifetime can begin to accelerate, which means hearing loss is more likely to start impacting your life. In addition, there could be other health issues that can affect your hearing.
- If you are less than fifty years old: Once every 3 to 10 years is recommended for hearing exams. There’s no harm in getting your ears checked more frequently, of course! But the bare minimum is once every decade. If you’ve been exposing yourself to loud concert noise or work in an industry with high volume levels, you should err on the side of caution and get tested more often. After all, it’s painless, simple, and there’s really no good reason not to do it.
You need to have your hearing tested if you experience any of these signs.
Obviously, there are other times, besides the annual exam, that you might want to come in and see us. Perhaps you start to notice some symptoms of hearing loss. And when they do you should schedule an appointment with us for a hearing exam.
A few of the clues that should prompt you to get a hearing test include:
- Sounds become muffled; it begins to sound as if you always have water inside of your ears.
- Asking people to slow down or repeat what they said during a conversation.
- Phone conversations are becoming more difficult to hear.
- You abruptly can’t hear out of one ear.
- You’re having a hard time hearing sounds in higher frequencies like consonants.
- The volume on your stereo or television is getting louder and louder.
- You’re having a difficult time hearing conversations when you’re in a noisy setting.
It’s a solid hint that it’s time to get a hearing test when the above warning signs start to add up. You’ll know what’s happening with your ears as soon as you come in for a test.
What are the benefits of hearing testing?
Harper may be late having her hearing test for several reasons.
Perhaps she hasn’t thought about it.
Maybe she’s intentionally avoiding thinking about it. But there are tangible advantages to having your hearing tested per recommendations.
Even if you think your hearing is perfectly healthy, a hearing test will help set a baseline reading, which makes deviations in the future easier to identify. If you can catch your hearing loss before it becomes obvious, you can better protect it.
Discovering hearing problems before they cause permanent hearing loss is the exact reason somebody like Harper should get tested regularly. Recognizing your hearing loss early by getting your hearing tested when you should will help you keep your ears healthier, longer. If you allow your hearing to go, it can have an affect on your overall health.