Surprisingly, it’s been over 10 years since most people have had a hearing test.
One of those individuals is Harper. She reports to her doctor for her annual medical exam and gets her teeth cleaned every six months. She even gets her timing belt changed every 6000 miles! But her hearing test normally gets ignored.
Hearing tests are essential for a wide variety of reasons, early detection of hearing loss being one of the more essential. Determining how frequently she should get a hearing test will help Harper keep her ears (and hearing) as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
So, just how frequently should you get a hearing test?
It’s alarming to think that Harper hasn’t had a hearing test in 10 years. Or we may 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: The general recommendation is that anyone above the age of fifty should make an appointment for annual hearing evaluations. Hearing loss is more likely to have an impact on your life as you get older because the noise damage that has built-up over a lifetime will accelerate that impairment. Also, as we age we’re more likely to be dealing with other health problems that can have an impact on hearing.
- If you are less than fifty years old: It’s usually recommended that you get a hearing exam once every three to ten years or so. Obviously, it’s ok to get a hearing assessment more often. But the bare minimum is once every ten years. And you should play it safe and get checked more often if you work in a job that tends to be loud or if you go to a lot of concerts. After all, it’s painless, simple, and there’s really no practical reason not to do it.
Indications you need to get your hearing checked
Naturally, your yearly (or semi-annual) hearing assessment isn’t the only good time to make an appointment with us. Perhaps you begin to experience some symptoms of hearing loss. And in those cases, it’s important to get in touch with us and schedule a hearing test.
Some of the clues that should prompt you to have a hearing exam include:
- Sounds get muffled; it begins to sound as though you always have water in your ears.
- Difficulty hearing conversations in noisy environments.
- Asking people to slow down or repeat what they said during a conversation.
- Cranking your television or car stereo up to excessively high volumes.
- You abruptly can’t hear out of one ear.
- Phone conversations are becoming more difficult to hear.
- You’re having a tough time hearing sounds in higher frequencies like consonants.
When the above warning signs begin to add up, it’s a good indication that the ideal time to get a hearing test is right now. The sooner you get your hearing checked, the sooner you’ll know what’s happening with your ears.
What are the advantages of hearing testing?
Harper could be late having her hearing test for a number of reasons.
Maybe she hasn’t thought about it.
It’s possible that she just doesn’t want to deal with it. But there are concrete advantages to having your hearing examined per guidelines.
Even if you believe your hearing is perfectly healthy, a hearing exam will help set a baseline reading, which makes deviations in the future easier to detect. If you can catch your hearing loss before it becomes noticeable, you can better protect it.
The point of regular hearing tests is that someone like Harper will be able to detect issues before her hearing is permanently damaged. Recognizing your hearing loss early by having your hearing tested when you should will help you keep your hearing healthier, longer. If you let your hearing go, it can have an affect on your overall health.