It’s hard to comprehend 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 reports dutifully for her yearly medical examination. She even knows to get her timing belt replaced every 6000 miles! But she always forgets to schedule her hearing test.
Hearing evaluations are essential for a wide variety of reasons, early detection of hearing loss being one of the more essential. Knowing how often she should get their hearing tested 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 exam?
It’s disconcerting to think that Harper hasn’t had a hearing exam in 10 years. Or perhaps it isn’t. Our reaction will differ depending on how old she is. Depending on age, recommendations will vary.
- If you are over fifty years of age: The general recommendation is that anyone above the age of fifty should schedule annual hearing assessments 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 affecting your life. In addition, there may be other health concerns that can impact your hearing.
- For people under 50: Once every 3 to 10 years is suggested for hearing assessments. There’s no harm in getting your ears tested more often, of course! But the bare minimum is once every decade. If you’ve been subjecting 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 frequently. After all, it’s painless, easy, and there’s really no good reason not to do it.
You should have your hearing checked if you notice any of these signs.
Of course, your yearly (or semi-annual) hearing test isn’t the only good time to schedule an appointment with us. Perhaps you begin to notice some symptoms of hearing loss. And when they do you need to schedule an appointment with us for a hearing assessment.
Here are some indications that you need a hearing exam:
- You need people to speak louder or repeat what they said.
- Sounds get muffled; it starts to sound as though you always have water inside of your ears.
- The volume on your stereo or TV is getting louder and louder.
- Trouble hearing conversations in noisy environments.
- Phone conversations are getting harder to hear.
- You suddenly can’t hear out of one ear.
- Having a difficult time hearing consonants (in general, consonants are spoken in a higher wavelength than vowels, and it’s those high-frequency sounds that are frequently the first to go as hearing loss takes hold.)
When the previously mentioned warning signs start to add up, it’s a good indication that the ideal time to get a hearing exam is right now. The sooner you get your hearing checked, the sooner you’ll know what’s happening with your ears.
What are the benefits of hearing testing?
Harper could be late getting her hearing checked for a number of reasons.
Maybe she hasn’t thought about it.
Maybe she’s purposely avoiding thinking about it. But there are tangible advantages to getting your hearing examined per guidelines.
Even if you think your hearing is perfectly healthy, a hearing exam will help set a baseline reading, which makes deviations in the future easier to detect. You’ll be in a better position to safeguard your hearing if you recognize any early hearing loss before it becomes noticeable.
Detecting hearing issues before they create permanent hearing loss is the precise reason someone like Harper should get tested regularly. Recognizing your hearing loss early by having 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 general health.