It’s hard to comprehend but most people have gone more than ten years without getting a hearing test.
Harper is one of them. She reports to her doctor for her yearly medical test and gets her teeth cleaned every six months. She even knows to get her timing belt changed every 6000 miles! But she never remembers to schedule her hearing exam.
There are many reasons to get hearing assessments, the most prominent of which is that it’s usually difficult for you to discover the earliest signs of hearing loss without one. Knowing 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 exam?
If the last time Harper had a hearing exam was over a decade ago, that’s disconcerting. Or we might think it’s perfectly normal. How old she is will greatly determine our reaction. Depending on age, guidelines will vary.
- If you are over fifty years old: Once annually is the suggested routine for hearing tests in people over 50 years old. 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 accelerate that impairment. Plus, there may be other health concerns that can impact your hearing.
- For people under 50: It’s usually recommended that you undergo a hearing test about once every three to ten years. There’s no harm in getting your ears checked more frequently, of course! But the bare minimum is once every ten years. If you’ve been subjecting yourself to loud concert noise or work in an industry 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 good reason not to do it.
You need to have your hearing tested if you notice any of these signs.
Undoubtedly, there are other times, besides the yearly exam, that you may want to come in for a consultation. Signs of hearing loss may start to surface. And when they do you need to schedule an appointment with us for a hearing test.
Here are some indications that you need a hearing test:
- Rapid hearing loss in one ear.
- Having a very tough time understanding people when talking on the phone, mobile or otherwise.
- 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.)
- Turning your television or car stereo up to excessively high volumes.
- Trouble hearing conversations in noisy environments.
- Asking people to slow down or repeat themselves during a conversation.
- Your ears sound muffled as if you had water in them.
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 happening with your ears.
What are the advantages of hearing testing?
There are plenty of reasons why Harper might be late in having her hearing checked.
Maybe she hasn’t thought about it.
It’s possible that she just doesn’t want to deal with it. But getting the suggested hearing tests has concrete benefits.
Even if you think your hearing is totally healthy, a hearing test will help set a baseline reading, which makes deviations in the future easier to identify. If you can catch your hearing loss before it becomes noticeable, 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. Your ears will stay healthy longer by getting these regular screenings. If you allow your hearing to go, it can have an affect on your overall health.