According to one recent survey, nearly 30% of people have gone more than ten years without getting a hearing test. One of those people is Sofia. She goes to her annual doctor’s appointments, she sees a dentist every six months, and she gets the oil changed in her car every 3000 miles. But she can’t remember the last time she took a hearing exam or underwent any type of accurate hearing evaluation.
Hearing tests are essential for a wide range of reasons, finding initial symptoms of hearing loss is likely the most essential one. Knowing how regularly she should get a hearing examination will help Sofia keep her ears (and hearing) as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
How Often Do You Need to Have a Hearing Test?
If the last time Sofia took a hearing examination was ten years ago, we could be concerned. Or maybe we don’t think anything of it. Our response, and the reaction of her hearing specialist, probably will vary depending on how old she is. This is because hearing specialists have different suggestions based on age.
- If you’re over fifty years old: The standard recommendation is that anybody older than fifty should have hearing checks every year. As you age, the noise damage you’ve sustained over a lifetime can begin to accelerate, meaning loss of hearing is more likely to begin impacting your life. There are also several other variables that can impact your hearing.
- It’s generally recommended that you take a hearing exam every three years or so. There’s no issue having your ears tested more often, of course! But once every three years is the bare minimum. If you are exposed to loud noise frequently or work at a job where noise is typical, you should err on the side of getting tested more often. It’s simple and painless and there’s truly no reason not to get it done.
If you would like to have hearing examinations or tests more frequently, there’s obviously no harm in that, at least in terms of your hearing. Since the last time you had a hearing exam, you might have new injury you should know about, so regular hearing tests could be helpful.
You Should Get Your Hearing Checked if You Notice These Signs
Of course, your annual (or semi-annual) hearing exam isn’t the only good occasion to make an appointment with a hearing professional. As an example, if you recognize symptoms of hearing loss. And in those situations, it’s usually a good plan to promptly contact a hearing specialist and schedule a hearing test.
Some of the signs that might prompt you to get a hearing test could include:
- When you’re talking to people, you repeatedly need to keep asking people to speak up.
- Listening to your favorite tunes at extremely high volumes.
- Your hearing is dull like there is water in your ears.
- Difficulties hearing conversations in loud surroundings.
- Phone interactions are always difficult to hear.
- Having a difficult time making out consonants (in general, consonants are spoken in a higher pitch than vowels, and it’s those high-frequency sounds that are generally the first to go as hearing loss takes hold)
When these warning signs begin to accumulate, it’s a good indication that the appropriate time to have a hearing test is right now. The more frequently you get your hearing examined, the more frequently you’ll know what’s going on with your hearing.
Hearing Exams, What Are The Advantages?
Sophia might be late for her hearing exam for many reasons. Maybe she hasn’t thought about it. Perhaps thinking about it is something she is simply avoiding. But there are concrete benefits to having your hearing tested per recommendations.
Even when your hearing is totally healthy, a hearing exam can help set a standard reading, which makes deviations in the future easier to detect. If you detect your loss of hearing before it becomes obvious, you’ll be able to protect it better.
That’s exactly why Sophia has to go to her regular hearing exams before any permanent damage happens. Early detection by a hearing assessment can help your hearing be healthy for a long time. Considering the impact of hearing loss on your general health, that’s important.