Surprisingly, it’s been more than 10 years since most people have had a hearing test.
One of those people is Harper. She goes to see her doctor for her annual medical exam and has her teeth cleaned every six months. She even changes her timing belt every 6000 miles. But she always forgets to schedule her hearing test.
Hearing evaluations are essential for a multitude of reasons, early detection of hearing loss being one of the more significant. Harper’s ears and hearing will remain as healthy as possible if she knows how frequently to get her hearing checked.
So, just how often should you have a hearing exam?
It’s alarming to think that Harper hasn’t had a hearing test in 10 years. Or we may think it’s completely normal. How old she is will largely determine our reaction. Depending on age, recommendations will vary.
- For individuals over 50: The general recommendation is that anyone above the age of fifty should make an appointment for yearly hearing tests 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 affecting your life. Also, as we get older we’re more likely to have other health conditions that can have an affect on hearing.
- For individuals under 50: Once every 3 to 10 years is recommended for hearing tests. There’s no harm in having your ears checked more often, of course! But once every decade is the bare minimum. 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 frequently. It’s quick, simple, and painless so why not come in?
Indications you should get your hearing assessed
Naturally, your yearly (or semi-annual) hearing assessment isn’t the only good time to schedule an appointment with us. Signs of hearing loss may start to crop up. And when they do you need to make an appointment with us for a hearing exam.
Here are a few indications that you need a hearing exam:
- Asking people to slow down or repeat what they said during a conversation.
- Rapid hearing loss in one ear.
- The volume on your stereo or TV is getting louder and louder.
- Having a very tough time understanding people when talking on the phone, mobile or otherwise.
- 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.)
- Sounds become muffled; it starts to sound as if you always have water in your ears.
- Trouble hearing conversations in noisy environments.
When the above warning signs start to add up, it’s a good indication that the ideal 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.
How will a hearing test be beneficial?
There are lots of reasons why Harper might be late in having her hearing checked.
It might have slipped her mind.
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 believe your hearing is perfectly healthy, a hearing exam will help establish a baseline reading, which makes deviations in the future easier to identify. You’ll be in a better position to protect your hearing if you detect any early hearing loss before it becomes noticeable.
The point of regular hearing tests is that somebody like Harper will be able to detect issues before her hearing is permanently diminished. Recognizing your hearing loss early by having your hearing tested when you should will help you keep your ears healthier, longer. Think about the impact of hearing loss on your overall health, it’s that important.