It’s difficult to comprehend but most individuals have gone over ten years without getting a hearing exam.
One of those people is Harper. She schedules a checkup and cleaning with her dentist every six months and she reports dutifully for her yearly medical test. She even gets her timing belt replaced every 6000 miles! But she never remembers to schedule her hearing test.
Hearing tests are essential for a multitude of reasons, early detection of hearing loss being one of the most important. Knowing 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 have a hearing assessment?
If the last time Harper took a hearing assessment was over ten years ago, that’s alarming. Or we might think it’s completely normal. Our reaction will differ depending on her age. That’s because we have different guidelines based on age.
- If you are over fifty years old: The general recommendation is that anybody over fifty years old 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 accelerate that impairment. Plus, there could be other health concerns that can affect your hearing.
- If you are less than fifty years old: Once every 3 to 10 years is recommended for hearing assessments. Of course, it’s ok to get a hearing test more often. But the bare minimum is once every ten years. And you should play it safe and get tested more frequently if you work in a job that tends to be loud or if you go to a lot of concerts. After all, it’s painless, easy, and there’s really no practical reason not to do it.
You should get your hearing assessed if you notice any of these signs.
Obviously, there are other times, besides the annual exam, that you might want to come in for a consultation. Maybe you begin to notice some symptoms of hearing loss. And in those cases, it’s important to reach out to us and schedule a hearing exam.
Some of the signs that should motivate you to get a hearing exam include:
- Phone conversations are becoming more difficult to hear.
- You’re having a hard time hearing conversations when you’re in a noisy setting.
- Sounds become muffled; it begins to sound as if you always have water inside of your ears.
- You need people to speak louder or repeat themselves.
- Rapid hearing loss in one ear.
- 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 often the first to go as hearing loss sets in.)
- Cranking your tv or car stereo up to excessively high volumes.
It’s a strong hint that it’s time to get a hearing test when the above warning signs begin to accumulate. The sooner you get your hearing checked, the sooner you’ll know what’s happening with your ears.
How will a hearing test help?
There are plenty of reasons why Harper may be late in having her hearing test.
Maybe she hasn’t thought about it.
Maybe she’s purposely avoiding thinking about it. But getting the recommended hearing tests has concrete benefits.
Even if you believe your hearing is perfectly healthy, a hearing test will help set a baseline reading, which makes deviations in the future easier to detect. If you can detect your hearing loss before it becomes noticeable, you can better safeguard it.
Discovering hearing problems before they produce permanent hearing loss is the exact reason someone like Harper should get tested regularly. Your ears will remain healthy longer by having these regular screenings. Consider the effects of hearing loss on your overall health, it’s that important.