It’s difficult to believe but most people have gone more than ten years without having a hearing exam.
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 replaces her timing belt every 6000 miles. But she never remembers to schedule her hearing test.
Hearing assessments are essential for a wide variety of reasons, early detection of hearing loss being one of the most important. Determining how often she should get a hearing test will help Harper keep her ears (and hearing) healthy for as long as possible.
So you should get your hearing tested how often?
It’s alarming to think that Harper hasn’t taken a hearing exam in 10 years. Or perhaps it isn’t. How old she is will largely determine our reaction. That’s because we have different guidelines based on age.
- For individuals over 50: The general suggestion is that anybody over the age of fifty should schedule annual hearing tests Hearing loss is more likely to have an impact on your life as you age because the noise damage that has built-up over a lifetime will speed up that impairment. Also, as we get older we’re more likely to have other health problems that can have an impact on hearing.
- For people under 50: Once every 3 to 10 years is recommended for hearing exams. There’s no harm in having your ears tested 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 a field with high decibel levels, you should err on the side of caution and get tested more often. After all, it’s painless, simple, 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.
Obviously, there are other times, besides the yearly exam, that you may want to come in and see us. Maybe you start to notice some symptoms of hearing loss. And when they do you need to make an appointment with us for a hearing assessment.
Here are some indications that you need a hearing test:
- Asking people to talk slower or repeat what they said during a conversation.
- Cranking your television or car stereo up to extremely high volumes.
- Having a very difficult time understanding people when talking on the phone, mobile or otherwise.
- Your ears seem muffled as if you had water in them.
- You’re having a tough time hearing conversations when you’re in a noisy setting.
- 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 often the first to go as hearing loss sets in.)
- Sudden hearing loss in one ear.
It’s a strong hint that it’s time to get a hearing exam when the above warning signs start to add up. You’ll know what’s going on with your ears as soon as you come in for a test.
How will a hearing test be beneficial?
There are lots 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 getting the suggested hearing tests has concrete benefits.
We can set up a baseline for your hearing, which will help determine any future deviations, even if it’s currently healthy. If you can detect your hearing loss before it becomes obvious, you can better safeguard it.
The point of regular hearing tests is that somebody like Harper will be able to identify issues before her hearing is permanently diminished. Detecting your hearing loss early by getting your hearing checked when you should will help you keep your ears healthier, longer. If you allow your hearing to go, it can have an affect on your overall health.