According to one recent survey, nearly 30% of people have gone more than ten years without getting a hearing test. One of those people is Sofia. She knows she has to have her oil changed every 3000 miles, she has a checkup with the dentist every six months, and she reports dutifully for her yearly medical exam. But she has no idea the last time she had a hearing test or went through any type of accurate hearing evaluation.
There are many reasons why it’s essential to have hearing evaluations, finding initial symptoms of hearing loss is probably the most significant one. Sophia can keep her hearing healthy for a lot longer by determining how often to have her hearing checked.
How Many Times Per Year Should my Hearing be Tested?
We may be alarmed if Sophia hadn’t had a hearing test in a decade. Or perhaps it doesn’t phase us. Our response, and the reaction of her hearing specialist, likely will vary depending on her age. That’s because hearing specialists have different suggestions based on age.
- It’s generally recommended that you have a hearing assessment around every three years. Certainly, if you feel you should get your ears examined more frequently, that’s also fine. But once every three years is the bare minimum. You should certainly get evaluated more frequently if you spend a lot of time in a loud environment. There’s no reason not to get it done, it’s painless and easy.
- If you’re over fifty years old: The general recommendation is that anyone over the age of fifty should get hearing checks every year. 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. There are also numerous other variables that can impact your hearing.
If you would like to have hearing screenings or tests more frequently, there’s certainly no harm in that, at least when it involves your hearing. Since you last had a hearing assessment, you may have new damage you should know about, so regular hearing tests may be helpful.
You Should Get Your Hearing Checked if You Notice These Signs
Of course, your annual (or semi-annual) hearing exam isn’t the only good time to schedule an appointment with a hearing professional. Occasionally, you start to notice some signs of hearing loss. And in those cases, it’s often a good plan to promptly contact a hearing professional and schedule a hearing exam.
Some of the signs that might prompt you to get a hearing test could include:
- Having a very hard time understanding people when talking on the phone, any phone.
- Constantly asking people to repeat themselves or slow down during a conversation.
- Your hearing is muted as if there is water in your ears.
- Difficulty hearing conversations in noisy environments.
- Turning your music to excessively high volumes (if your neighbors begin to complain, that’s a good sign you should see a hearing specialist right away).
- Having a tough time making out consonants (in general, consonants are spoken in a higher wavelength than vowels, and it’s those high-frequency sounds that are generally the first to go as hearing loss takes hold)
When these warning signs start to add up, it’s a good indication that the ideal time to get a hearing exam is right now. The more frequently you get your hearing tested, the more frequently you’ll know what’s going on with your hearing.
Hearing Tests, What Are The Advantages?
Sophia might be late for her hearing exam for many reasons. Maybe she hasn’t thought about it. Perhaps thinking about it is something she is simply avoiding. But getting your hearing examined on the recommended schedule has actual benefits.
And it will be easier to detect hearing deviations in the future if you have your hearing checked by forming a baseline reading even if it seems as if everything is normal. You can protect your hearing better if you identify it before it becomes problematic.
The reason for regular hearing testing is that somebody like Sofia will be able to identify issues before her hearing is diminished permanently. By catching your hearing loss early, by getting your hearing checked when you should, you’ll be giving your ears their best chance of staying healthy. It’s essential to think about how hearing loss will impact your overall state of health.