According to one recent survey, nearly 30% of people have gone more than ten years without getting a hearing test. Sofia is one of them. She goes to her annual doctor’s appointments, she visits a dentist every six months, and she has an oil change in her car every 3000 miles. But she hasn’t had a hearing test in quite some time.
Hearing evaluations are important for a wide variety of reasons, the most notable of which is that it’s often hard for you to notice the first signs of hearing loss if you don’t get one. Knowing how regularly she should get a hearing test will help Sofia keep her ears (and hearing) as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
How Frequently Do You Need to Get a Hearing Assessment?
We might be alarmed if Sophia hadn’t had a hearing test in ten years. Or perhaps we don’t think anything of it. Our reaction, and the reaction of her hearing specialist, most likely will vary depending on how old she is. That’s because hearing specialists have different suggestions based on age.
- It’s generally recommended that you have a hearing test about every three years. There’s no harm in having your ears tested more frequently, of course! But once every three years is the bare minimum. If you are exposed to loud noise repeatedly or work at a job where noise is common, you should decide to get screened more frequently. It’s straight forward and painless and there’s truly no reason not to get it done.
- If you’re over fifty years old: The universal recommendation is that anybody older than fifty should have hearing checks yearly. As you age, the noise damage you’ve sustained over a lifetime can begin to accelerate, meaning loss of hearing is more likely to start affecting your life. There are also numerous other variables that can impact your hearing.
If you want to undergo hearing screenings or tests more frequently, there’s certainly no harm in that, at least when it comes to your hearing. The sooner you detect any problems, the sooner you’ll be capable of addressing whatever hearing loss that may have developed since your last hearing test.
Signs You Should Get Your Hearing Checked
Naturally, your annual (or semi-annual) hearing exam isn’t the only good time to schedule an appointment with a hearing professional. Occasionally, you begin to notice some signs of hearing loss. And in those cases, it’s usually a good idea to immediately get in touch with a hearing specialist and schedule a hearing exam.
Some of the signs that might prompt you to get a hearing test could include:
- Listening to your favorite music at excessively high volumes.
- When you’re in a loud environment, you have difficulty hearing conversations.
- Sounds become muffled; it’s starting to sound as if you always have water in your ears.
- 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 often the first to go as hearing loss takes hold)
- When you’re speaking with people, you repeatedly need to keep asking people to repeat themselves.
- Phone interactions are always hard to hear.
A strong indicator that right now is the best time to have a hearing exam is when the warning signs begin to accumulate. You need to know what’s going on with your ears and that means having a hearing exam as soon as possible.
What Are The Advantages of Hearing Testing?
There are plenty of excuses why Sofia may be late in getting her hearing test. Maybe she hasn’t considered it. It could be that she’s just avoiding thinking about it. But there are concrete benefits to getting your hearing tested per recommendations.
And it will be easier to detect hearing deviations in the future if you get your hearing examined by establishing a baseline reading even if it seems as if everything is normal. If you identify your hearing loss before it becomes obvious, you’ll be able to protect it better.
The point of regular hearing assessment is that someone like Sofia will be in a position to recognize problems before her hearing is permanently impaired. Early detection by a hearing exam can help your hearing stay healthy for a long time. It’s important to consider how hearing loss will influence your overall state of health.