It’s hard to comprehend but most people have gone more than ten years without having a hearing test.
Harper is one of them. She schedules a cleaning and checkup with her dentist every six months and she reports dutifully for her yearly medical exam. She even changes her timing belt every 6000 miles. But her hearing exam normally gets ignored.
There are many reasons to get hearing assessments, the most notable of which is that it’s often difficult for you to detect the earliest signs 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 frequently should you get a hearing assessment?
It’s alarming to think that Harper hasn’t taken a hearing test in 10 years. Or we might think it’s completely normal. Our reaction will vary depending on how old she is. Depending on age, guidelines will differ.
- For individuals over 50: The general suggestion is that anyone above the age of fifty should schedule yearly hearing assessments As you get older, the noise damage you’ve incurred over a lifetime can begin to accelerate, which means hearing loss is more likely to start impacting your life. In addition, there might be other health problems that can impact your hearing.
- If you are under fifty years old: Once every 3 to 10 years is suggested for hearing exams. Of course, it’s ok to get a hearing assessment more often. But the bare minimum is once every decade. If you’ve been subjecting yourself to loud concert noise or work in an industry with high volume levels, you should err on the side of caution and get tested more frequently. It’s fast, simple, and painless so why wouldn’t you?
Signs you should get your hearing checked
Undoubtedly, there are other occasions, besides the annual exam, that you may want to come in and see us. Perhaps you start to notice some signs of hearing loss. And when they do you need to make an appointment with us for a hearing exam.
Some of the signs that should motivate you to have a hearing exam include:
- Sudden hearing loss in one ear.
- Phone conversations are getting harder to hear.
- 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 often the first to go as hearing loss sets in.)
- Asking people to talk slower or repeat what they said during a conversation.
- The volume on your stereo or TV is getting louder and louder.
- Trouble hearing conversations in loud environments.
- Your ears sound muffled as if you had water in them.
When the above warning signs begin to add up, it’s a good indication that the perfect time to get a hearing test is right now. You’ll know what’s going on with your ears as soon as you come in for an evaluation.
What are the advantages of hearing testing?
There are lots of reasons why Harper might be late in getting her hearing test.
It may have slipped her mind.
Maybe she’s purposely avoiding thinking about it. But there are tangible advantages to having your hearing tested per guidelines.
Even if you believe your hearing is perfectly healthy, a hearing test will help establish a baseline reading, which makes deviations in the future easier to identify. If you can detect your hearing loss before it becomes obvious, you can better protect it.
Detecting hearing problems before they cause permanent hearing loss is the exact reason someone like Harper should get tested regularly. Detecting your hearing loss early by having your hearing tested when you should will help you keep your hearing healthier, longer. Consider the effects of hearing loss on your overall health, it’s that important.