Believe it or not, it’s been over 10 years since most individuals have had a hearing test.
Harper is one of them. 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 she always forgets to schedule her hearing test.
Hearing assessments are important for a variety of reasons, the most prominent of which is that it’s often difficult for you to discover 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) 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 maybe it isn’t. How old she is will greatly determine our reaction. Depending on age, recommendations will vary.
- For individuals over 50: The general suggestion is that anybody above the age of fifty should schedule annual hearing exams 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 age we’re more likely to have other health problems that can have an impact on hearing.
- If you are under fifty years old: Once every 3 to 10 years is recommended for hearing exams. Of course, it’s ok to get a hearing assessment more often. But once every decade is the bare minimum. And you should be cautious and get tested more frequently if you work in a job that tends to be noisy or if you go to a lot of concerts. It’s quick, simple, and painless so why not come in?
Signs you need to have your hearing checked
Obviously, there are other occasions, besides the yearly exam, that you may want to come in and see us. Perhaps you start to notice some symptoms of hearing loss. And in those cases, it’s important to contact us and schedule a hearing assessment.
A few of the signs that should prompt you to get a hearing exam include:
- Your ears sound muffled like you had water in them.
- 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 frequently the first to go as hearing loss takes hold.)
- You’re having a tough time making out conversations when you’re in a loud setting.
- Asking people to slow down or repeat what they said during a conversation.
- Phone conversations are becoming more difficult to hear.
- The volume on your stereo or television is getting louder and louder.
- You suddenly can’t hear out of one ear.
When the previously mentioned warning signs start to add up, it’s a good sign that the perfect time to get a hearing test is right now. The sooner you get your hearing tested, the sooner you’ll know what’s going on with your ears.
How will a hearing test help?
Harper could be late getting her hearing test for several reasons.
Maybe she hasn’t thought about it.
Maybe she’s deliberately 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 establish a baseline reading, which makes deviations in the future easier to identify. If you can catch 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 somebody like Harper should get tested regularly. Your ears will stay healthy longer by getting these regular screenings. Consider the impact of hearing loss on your overall health, it’s that important.