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 knows to get her oil changed every 3000 miles, she has a checkup with the dentist every six months, and she checks in dutifully for her yearly medical examination. But she hasn’t had a hearing exam in a long time.
Hearing exams are important for a wide variety of reasons, finding early symptoms of hearing loss is likely the most important one. Knowing how often she should get a hearing test 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 Tested?
We might be alarmed if Sophia hadn’t had a hearing test in a decade. Or we might think it’s completely normal. Our response, and the reaction of her hearing specialist, most likely will vary depending on her age. This is because hearing professionals have different guidelines based on age.
- It’s normally suggested that you undergo a hearing exam every three years or so. Certainly, if you feel you should get your hearing tested more frequently, that’s also fine. But at least every three years is the bare minimum. You should certainly get examined more frequently if you are frequently in a loud setting. There’s no reason not to do it, it’s painless and easy.
- If you’re older than fifty: But if you’re above the age of fifty, the suggestion is, you get a hearing test annually. As you age, the noise damage you’ve suffered over a lifetime can start to speed up, which means loss of hearing is more likely to start impacting your life. Also, there are other health problems that can affect your hearing.
If you would like to undergo hearing screenings or tests more often, there’s obviously no harm in that, at least in terms of your hearing. The sooner you identify any problems, the sooner you’ll be capable of addressing whatever hearing loss that may have developed since your last hearing exam.
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 specialist. Sometimes, you begin to notice some signs of hearing loss. And in those situations, it’s often a good idea to immediately get in touch with a hearing professional and schedule a hearing exam.
Some of the signs that might prompt you to get a hearing test could include:
- Difficulties hearing conversations in noisy environments.
- Having a tough time making out consonants (generally, 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 takes hold)
- Listening to your favorite music at extremely high volumes.
- Regularly asking people to repeat themselves or slow down during a conversation.
- Having a very difficult time comprehending people when talking on the phone, any phone.
- Your hearing is muted like there is water in your ears.
When these warning signs begin to accumulate, it’s a good sign that the ideal time to get a hearing exam is right now. The more frequently you have your hearing examined, the sooner you’ll know what’s happening with your hearing.
Hearing Exams, What Are The Benefits?
Sophia might be late for her hearing exam for several reasons. Maybe she hasn’t thought about it. Perhaps thinking about it is something she’s just avoiding. But getting your hearing tested on the recommended schedule has actual benefits.
Even when your hearing is totally healthy, a hearing test can help create a baseline reading, which makes deviations in the future easier to detect. You can protect your hearing better if you detect it before it becomes an issue.
That’s exactly why Sophia needs to show up for scheduled hearing exams before any permanent injury happens. By catching your hearing loss early, by getting your hearing tested when you should, you’ll be keeping your ears healthier longer. Thinking about the effects of hearing loss on your overall health, that’s important.