It’s difficult to comprehend but most people have gone over ten years without getting a hearing test.
Harper is one of them. She schedules a cleaning and checkup with her dentist every six months and she shows up dutifully for her annual medical examination. She even replaces her timing belt every 6000 miles. But her hearing exam usually gets neglected.
Hearing tests are important for a multitude of reasons, early detection of hearing loss being one of the more important. Determining how often she should get a hearing test will help Harper keep her ears (and hearing) healthy for as long as possible.
So you should get your hearing tested how often?
It’s alarming to think that Harper hasn’t taken a hearing test in 10 years. Or maybe it isn’t. Our reaction will vary depending on her age. Depending on age, guidelines will differ.
- For individuals over 50: Once annually is the recommended schedule for hearing tests in individuals 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 accumulated over a lifetime will accelerate that impairment. Plus, there may be other health concerns that can affect your hearing.
- If you are under fifty years old: It’s usually recommended that you have a hearing exam once every three to ten years or so. Obviously, it’s ok to get a hearing assessment more frequently. But the bare minimum is once every decade. 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 often. After all, it’s painless, easy, and there’s really no practical reason not to do it.
You need to have your hearing tested if you experience any of these signs.
Undoubtedly, there are other times, besides the annual exam, that you might want to come in for a consultation. Signs of hearing loss might start to crop up. And when they do you should make an appointment with us for a hearing test.
Here are some indications that you need a hearing exam:
- 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 sets in.)
- Trouble hearing conversations in noisy environments.
- Your ears seem muffled as if you had water in them.
- You need people to speak louder or repeat themselves.
- You abruptly can’t hear out of one ear.
- The volume on your stereo or TV is getting louder and louder.
- Phone conversations are becoming harder to hear.
It’s a solid hint that it’s time to get a hearing test when the above warning signs start to add up. The sooner you get your hearing tested, the sooner you’ll know what’s happening with your ears.
What are the benefits of hearing testing?
There are lots of reasons why Harper may be late in having her hearing test.
It may have slipped her mind.
Maybe she’s deliberately avoiding thinking about it. But there are concrete benefits to getting your hearing examined per guidelines.
Even if you believe your hearing is totally healthy, a hearing exam 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 recognize any early hearing loss before it becomes noticeable.
The reason for regular hearing tests is that someone like Harper will be able to detect problems before her hearing is permanently diminished. Catching your hearing loss early by having your hearing checked when you should will help you keep your hearing healthier, longer. If you allow your hearing to go, it can have an affect on your general health.