Surprisingly, it’s been over 10 years since most individuals have had 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 examination. She even replaces her timing belt every 6000 miles. But her hearing test usually gets neglected.
There are a number of reasons to get hearing assessments, early detection of hearing loss being one of the most important. Determining how often she should get a hearing test will help Harper keep her ears (and hearing) healthy for as long as possible.
So, just how frequently should you have a hearing test?
It’s disconcerting to think that Harper hasn’t had a hearing exam in 10 years. Or we may think it’s completely normal. Our reaction will vary depending on her age. Depending on age, guidelines will differ.
- If you are over fifty years of age: Once annually is the suggested routine for hearing exams in individuals over fifty. Hearing loss is more likely to have an affect on your life as you age because the noise damage that has accumulated over a lifetime will accelerate that impairment. In addition, there could be other health concerns that can impact your hearing.
- For individuals under 50: It’s usually recommended that you get a hearing test about once every three to ten years. There’s no harm in having your ears tested more often, of course! But the bare minimum is once every ten years. If you’ve been exposing yourself to loud concert noise or work in a field with high volume levels, you should err on the side of caution and get tested more often. It’s fast, simple, and painless so why wouldn’t you?
Indications you should get your hearing assessed
Undoubtedly, there are other occasions, besides the annual exam, that you might want to come in and see us. Maybe you start to notice some symptoms of hearing loss. And when they do you should make an appointment with us for a hearing assessment.
Here are some indications that you need a hearing test:
- You need people to speak louder or repeat what they said.
- Cranking your television or car stereo up to excessively high volumes.
- Phone conversations are becoming harder to hear.
- You’re having a tough time hearing sounds in higher frequencies such as consonants.
- Sounds get muffled; it begins to sound as if you always have water inside of your ears.
- Difficulty hearing conversations in noisy environments.
- Rapid hearing loss in one ear.
It’s a strong hint that it’s time to get a hearing test when the above warning signs start to accumulate. The sooner you get your hearing tested, the sooner you’ll know what’s happening with your ears.
How will a hearing test be beneficial?
There are lots of reasons why Harper may be late in getting her hearing checked.
It might have slipped her mind.
Maybe she’s purposely avoiding thinking about it. But getting the suggested hearing tests has concrete benefits.
Even if you think your hearing is perfectly healthy, a hearing test will help establish a baseline reading, which makes deviations in the future easier to detect. You’ll be in a better position to protect your hearing if you recognize any early hearing loss before it becomes obvious.
Discovering hearing problems before they create permanent hearing loss is the exact reason someone like Harper should get tested regularly. Recognizing your hearing loss early by having your hearing checked when you should will help you keep your ears healthier, longer. If you allow your hearing to go, it can have an impact on your overall health.