Believe it or not, it’s been over 10 years since most individuals have had a hearing exam.
One of those people is Harper. She schedules a cleaning and checkup with her dentist every six months and she shows up dutifully for her annual medical test. She even replaces her timing belt every 6000 miles. But her hearing exam usually gets ignored.
There are lots of reasons to get hearing assessments, the most prominent of which is that it’s often challenging for you to detect the earliest indications of hearing loss without one. 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 test?
It’s alarming to think that Harper hasn’t had a hearing exam in 10 years. Or we might think it’s perfectly normal. Our reaction will vary depending on how old she is. Depending on age, recommendations will vary.
- If you are over fifty years old: Once a year is the suggested schedule for hearing exams in individuals over 50 years old. As you get older, the noise damage you’ve sustained over a lifetime can begin to speed up, which means hearing loss is more likely to start affecting your life. In addition, there may be other health problems that can affect your hearing.
- If you are less than fifty years old: It’s usually recommended that you take a hearing exam about once every three to ten years. There’s no harm in having your ears tested more frequently, of course! But the bare minimum is once every decade. If you’ve been exposing yourself to loud concert noise or work in a field with high volume levels, you should err on the side of caution and get tested more frequently. After all, it’s painless, simple, and there’s really no good reason not to do it.
You should have your hearing assessed if you notice any of these signs.
Needless to say, your yearly (or semi-annual) hearing test isn’t the only good time to schedule an appointment with us. Signs of hearing loss might start to appear. And when they do you should schedule an appointment with us for a hearing test.
A few of the signs that should motivate you to get a hearing exam include:
- Having a really hard time understanding people when talking on the phone, mobile or otherwise.
- Your ears sound muffled as if you had water in them.
- The volume on your stereo or TV is getting louder and louder.
- You need people to talk louder or repeat what they said.
- 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 frequently the first to go as hearing loss takes hold.)
- You abruptly can’t hear out of one ear.
- You’re having a difficult time making out conversations when you’re in a loud setting.
It’s a strong hint that it’s time to get a hearing exam when the above warning signs start to accumulate. The sooner you get your hearing tested, the sooner you’ll know what’s happening with your ears.
What are the benefits of hearing testing?
Harper may be late having her hearing checked for a number of reasons.
It may have slipped her mind.
It’s possible that she just doesn’t want to deal with it. But getting the recommended hearing tests has tangible 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. You’ll be in a better position to safeguard your hearing if you detect any early hearing loss before it becomes noticeable.
The reason for regular hearing tests is that someone like Harper will be able to identify problems before her hearing is permanently damaged. Your ears will stay healthy longer by getting these regular screenings. If you let your hearing go, it can have an affect on your general health.