Surprisingly, it’s been more than 10 years since most individuals have had a hearing exam.
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 changed every 6000 miles! But her hearing test usually gets neglected.
Hearing assessments are important for a variety of reasons, early detection of hearing loss being one of the most important. 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 often should you get a hearing test?
If the last time Harper had a hearing assessment was over a decade ago, that’s alarming. Or maybe it isn’t. Her age will greatly determine our reaction. Depending on age, guidelines will differ.
- For individuals over 50: The general recommendation is that anyone over fifty years old should schedule annual hearing assessments Hearing loss is more likely to have an impact on your life as you age because the noise damage that has accumulated over a lifetime will speed up that impairment. Moreover, as we get older we’re more likely to be dealing with other health conditions that can have an impact on hearing.
- For people under 50: Once every 3 to 10 years is recommended for hearing exams. There’s no harm in getting your ears checked 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 decibel 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.
Indications you should get your hearing tested
Of course, your yearly (or semi-annual) hearing assessment isn’t the only good time to make an appointment with us. Signs of hearing loss might begin to appear. And when they do you should schedule an appointment with us for a hearing assessment.
A few of the clues that should motivate you to get a hearing exam include:
- Trouble hearing conversations in loud environments.
- You’re having a hard time hearing sounds in higher frequencies such as consonants.
- You suddenly can’t hear out of one ear.
- Cranking your television or car stereo up to extremely high volumes.
- Having a very tough time understanding people when talking on the phone, mobile or otherwise.
- Asking people to talk slower or repeat what they said during a conversation.
- Sounds become muffled; it begins to sound as if you always have water in your ears.
When the previously mentioned warning signs begin to add up, it’s a good indication that the ideal time to get a hearing test is right now. You’ll know what’s happening with your ears as soon as you come in for an evaluation.
How will a hearing test be beneficial?
Harper could be late getting her hearing checked for a number of reasons.
It may have slipped her mind.
It’s possible that she just doesn’t want to deal with it. But getting the suggested hearing tests has tangible benefits.
We can establish a baseline for your hearing, which will help identify any future deviations, even if it’s presently healthy. If you can catch your hearing loss before it becomes obvious, you can better safeguard it.
The point of regular hearing tests is that someone like Harper will be able to detect problems before her hearing is permanently damaged. Your ears will remain healthy longer by having these regular screenings. Think about the effects of hearing loss on your general health, it’s that important.