It’s hard to believe but most individuals have gone more than ten years without getting a hearing exam.
One of those individuals is Harper. She reports to her doctor for her yearly medical exam and gets her teeth cleaned every six months. She even gets her timing belt changed every 6000 miles! But her hearing test typically gets neglected.
There are many reasons to get hearing assessments, the most notable of which is that it’s usually challenging for you to detect the earliest indications of hearing loss without one. 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 often should you have a hearing test?
If the last time Harper had a hearing exam was over ten years ago, that’s alarming. Or perhaps it isn’t. Our reaction will vary depending on her age. That’s because we have different suggestions based on age.
- If you are over fifty years old: Once a year is the suggested schedule for hearing exams in people over 50 years old. 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 conditions that can have an affect on hearing.
- For individuals under 50: Once every 3 to 10 years is recommended for hearing tests. Of course, it’s fine to get a hearing test more often. But once every decade is the bare minimum. And you should play it safe and get tested more frequently if you work in an occupation that tends to be noisy or if you go to a lot of concerts. It’s fast, easy, and painless so why wouldn’t you?
You should get your hearing checked if you notice any of these signs.
Undoubtedly, there are other times, besides the annual exam, that you may want to come in for a consultation. 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 assessment.
Some of the signs that should motivate you to have a hearing test include:
- You abruptly can’t hear out of one ear.
- Phone conversations are becoming harder to hear.
- Having a tough time hearing consonants (in general, consonants are spoken in a higher wavelength than vowels, and it’s those high-frequency sounds that are often the first to go as hearing loss takes hold.)
- The volume on your stereo or TV is getting louder and louder.
- Difficulty hearing conversations in noisy environments.
- Sounds become muffled; it begins to sound as though you always have water inside of your ears.
- You need people to talk louder or repeat themselves.
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.
How will a hearing test help?
There are lots of reasons why Harper might be late in having her hearing checked.
Perhaps she hasn’t thought about it.
Maybe she’s intentionally avoiding thinking about it. But getting the recommended hearing tests has concrete benefits.
Even if you think your hearing is completely 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 detect any early hearing loss before it becomes obvious.
The point of regular hearing tests is that somebody like Harper will be able to detect issues before her hearing is permanently diminished. Your ears will remain healthy longer by having these regular screenings. If you allow your hearing to go, it can have an affect on your overall health.