It’s hard to believe but most people have gone over ten years without having a hearing test.
Harper is one of them. She goes to see her doctor for her yearly medical exam and gets her teeth cleaned every six months. She even gets her timing belt replaced every 6000 miles! But her hearing test usually gets ignored.
There are a number of reasons to get hearing exams, the most prominent of which is that it’s usually challenging 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 you should get your hearing tested how often?
If the last time Harper took a hearing test was over ten years ago, that’s alarming. Or maybe it isn’t. How old she is will largely determine our reaction. That’s because we have different guidelines based on age.
- If you are over fifty years of age: Once a year is the suggested routine for hearing tests in individuals over 50 years old. Hearing loss is more likely to have an affect on your life as you get older because the noise damage that has accumulated over a lifetime will speed up that impairment. In addition, there could be other health concerns that can impact your hearing.
- For individuals under 50: Once every 3 to 10 years is recommended for hearing assessments. Of course, it’s fine to get a hearing test more frequently. But once every decade is the bare minimum. If you’ve been exposing 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 often. It’s fast, simple, and painless so why wouldn’t you?
Indications you need to get your hearing checked
Needless to say, your yearly (or semi-annual) hearing test isn’t the only good time to schedule an appointment with us. Symptoms of hearing loss may start to crop up. And when they do you need to schedule an appointment with us for a hearing test.
Some of the signs that should motivate you to get a hearing exam include:
- Turning your television or car stereo up to extremely high volumes.
- Having a hard 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.)
- Asking people to slow down or repeat what they said during a conversation.
- Sudden hearing loss in one ear.
- Phone conversations are becoming more difficult to hear.
- Sounds get muffled; it begins to sound as if you always have water in your ears.
- Difficulty hearing conversations in noisy environments.
It’s a strong hint that it’s time to get a hearing test when the above warning signs start to add up. You’ll know what’s happening with your ears as soon as you come in for a test.
How will a hearing test help?
There are plenty of reasons why Harper may be late in getting her hearing test.
It may have slipped her mind.
It’s possible that she just doesn’t want to deal with it. But there are concrete advantages to having your hearing tested per guidelines.
We can establish a baseline for your hearing, which will help identify any future deviations, even if it’s presently healthy. You’ll be in a better position to safeguard your hearing if you recognize any early hearing loss before it becomes obvious.
The point of regular hearing tests is that someone like Harper will be able to identify problems before her hearing is permanently damaged. Catching your hearing loss early by having your hearing checked when you should will help you keep your ears healthier, longer. If you let your hearing go, it can have an impact on your general health.