Believe it or not, it’s been more than 10 years since most individuals have had a hearing exam.
One of those people is Harper. She schedules a checkup and cleaning with her dentist every six months and she shows up dutifully for her annual medical exam. She even knows to get her timing belt replaced every 6000 miles! But she always forgets to schedule her hearing test.
Hearing assessments are essential for a variety of reasons, the most prominent of which is that it’s usually challenging for you to detect the earliest signs of hearing loss without one. Determining how frequently she should get a hearing test will help Harper keep her ears (and hearing) as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
So, just how frequently should you have a hearing assessment?
If the last time Harper had a hearing assessment was over a decade ago, that’s alarming. Or perhaps it isn’t. Our reaction will differ depending on how old she is. Depending on age, guidelines will vary.
- For people over 50: Once a year is the recommended schedule for hearing assessments in people over 50 years old. Hearing loss is more likely to have an affect on your life as you age because the noise damage that has built-up over a lifetime will speed up that impairment. Plus, there could be other health problems that can affect your hearing.
- If you are less than fifty years old: Once every 3 to 10 years is suggested for hearing assessments. There’s no harm in getting your ears tested more often, of course! But the bare minimum is once every decade. If you’ve been subjecting yourself to loud concert noise or work in an industry with high decibel levels, you should err on the side of caution and get tested more often. It’s quick, easy, and painless so why not come in?
Indications you need to get your hearing checked
Obviously, there are other occasions, besides the yearly exam, that you may want to come in and see us. Symptoms of hearing loss may start to appear. And in those cases, it’s important to reach out to us and schedule a hearing exam.
Some of the clues that should motivate you to have a hearing exam include:
- Difficulty hearing conversations in noisy environments.
- Having a really tough time understanding people when talking on the phone, mobile or otherwise.
- Rapid hearing loss in one ear.
- Having a hard 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 sets in.)
- Asking people to talk slower or repeat what they said during a conversation.
- The volume on your stereo or television is getting louder and louder.
- Sounds become muffled; it begins to sound as if you always have water inside of your ears.
When the above warning signs start to add up, it’s a good sign that the perfect time to get a hearing exam is right now. 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 test for a number of reasons.
Maybe she hasn’t thought about it.
Maybe she just doesn’t want to deal with it. But getting the recommended hearing tests has concrete benefits.
We can establish a baseline for your hearing, which will help determine any future deviations, even if it’s presently healthy. If you can catch your hearing loss before it becomes noticeable, you can better safeguard it.
The point of regular hearing tests is that someone like Harper will be able to identify problems before her hearing is permanently damaged. Recognizing your hearing loss early by getting your hearing checked when you should will help you keep your hearing healthier, longer. Consider the impact of hearing loss on your overall health, it’s that important.