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 yearly doctor’s appointments, she visits a dentist every six months, and she gets the oil changed in her car every 3000 miles. But she hasn’t had a hearing test in quite some time.
Hearing assessments are essential for a wide range of reasons, finding early symptoms of hearing loss is perhaps the most significant one. Knowing how regularly she should get a hearing examination will help Sofia keep her ears (and hearing) as healthy as she can for as long as possible.
How Often Each Year Should my Hearing be Checked?
We may be alarmed if Sophia hadn’t had a hearing exam in ten years. Or perhaps it doesn’t phase us. Our response, and the reaction of her hearing specialist, likely will vary depending on her age. That’s because hearing professionals have different suggestions based on age.
- If you’re over fifty years old: The standard suggestion is that anybody over the age of fifty should get hearing checks yearly. As you age, the noise damage you’ve incurred over a lifetime can start to speed up, which means hearing loss is more likely to start impacting your life. Also, there are other health issues that can impact your hearing.
- At least every three years, it’s suggested that you take a hearing exam. Obviously, if you feel you should get your ears examined more often, there is no harm. The bare minimum is every three years. You should certainly get tested more often if you are frequently in a noisy environment. There’s no reason not to get it done, it’s painless and easy.
If you want to undergo hearing screenings or tests more frequently, there’s certainly no harm in that, at least in terms of your hearing. The sooner you identify any issues, the more quickly you’ll be capable of addressing whatever loss of hearing that might have developed since your last hearing test.
You Should Get Your Hearing Checked if You Notice These Signs
Needless to say, your yearly (or semi-annual) hearing exam isn’t the only good time to make an appointment with a hearing professional. For example, if you notice signs of hearing loss. And in those situations, it’s typically a good plan to immediately get in touch with a hearing specialist and schedule a hearing test.
Some of the signs that might prompt you to get a hearing test could include:
- Regularly asking people to slow down or repeat themselves during a conversation.
- Having a very difficult time understanding people when talking on the phone, any phone.
- Sounds become muffled; it starts to sound as if you always have water in your ears.
- Turning your television or car stereo to excessively high volumes (if your neighbors start complaining, that’s a good indication you should see a hearing specialist right away).
- When you’re in a noisy situation, you have problems hearing conversations.
- It’s normal for loss of hearing in the high pitched register to go first and since consonants are in a higher pitched register than vowels, they generally fail first.
A strong sign that right now is the best time to have a hearing exam is when the warning signs start to add up. The sooner you have your hearing checked, the sooner you’ll know what’s happening with your ears.
Hearing Exams, What Are The Advantages?
There are plenty of excuses why Sofia might be late in getting her hearing test. Maybe she hasn’t considered it. Potentially she’s just avoiding dealing with it. But getting your hearing tested on the recommended schedule has actual advantages.
And it will be easier to detect hearing deviations in the future if you have your hearing tested by forming a baseline reading even if it seems as if everything is normal. You can protect your hearing better if you catch it before it becomes problematic.
The reason for regular hearing assessment is that somebody like Sofia will be enabled to recognize issues before her hearing is impaired permanently. By catching your hearing loss early, by having your hearing tested when you’re supposed to, you’ll be keeping your ears healthier longer. It’s essential to understand how hearing loss will affect your general state of health.