It’s difficult to believe but most individuals have gone more than ten years without having a hearing exam.
One of those individuals is Harper. She goes to see her doctor for her yearly medical exam and has her teeth cleaned every six months. She even gets her timing belt replaced every 6000 miles! But she never remembers to schedule her hearing test.
Hearing tests are important for a variety of reasons, early detection of hearing loss being one of the most important. 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 exam?
If the last time Harper got a hearing assessment was over a decade ago, that’s alarming. Or perhaps it isn’t. How old she is will greatly determine our reaction. That’s because we have different guidelines based on age.
- For individuals over 50: Once a year is the recommended schedule for hearing exams in people over 50 years old. As you age, the noise damage you’ve sustained over a lifetime can begin to speed up, which means hearing loss is more likely to start impacting your life. In addition, there may be other health problems that can impact your hearing.
- For people under 50: It’s generally recommended that you undergo a hearing test about once every three to ten years. Of course, it’s fine to get a hearing exam more frequently. But once every decade is the bare minimum. 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 frequently. It’s fast, simple, and painless so why not come in?
Signs you should get your hearing assessed
Needless to say, your annual (or semi-annual) hearing test isn’t the only good time to schedule an appointment with us. Signs of hearing loss might begin to crop up. And when they do you need to make an appointment with us for a hearing exam.
Here are a few indications that you need a hearing test:
- Asking people to slow down or repeat what they said during a conversation.
- You’re having a difficult time hearing sounds in higher frequencies such as consonants.
- Having a really hard time understanding people when talking on the phone, mobile or otherwise.
- The volume on your stereo or TV is getting louder and louder.
- Rapid hearing loss in one ear.
- Your ears sound muffled as if you had water in them.
- Trouble hearing conversations in loud environments.
When the above warning signs begin to add up, it’s a good sign that the ideal time to get a hearing exam is right now. The sooner you get your hearing checked, the sooner you’ll know what’s happening with your ears.
How will a hearing test be beneficial?
Harper may be late having her hearing test for several reasons.
It may have slipped her mind.
It’s possible that she just doesn’t want to deal with it. But there are tangible advantages to getting your hearing examined per guidelines.
Even if you think your hearing is totally healthy, a hearing test will help establish a baseline reading, which makes deviations in the future easier to identify. You’ll be in a better position to protect your hearing if you detect any early hearing loss before it becomes obvious.
The reason for regular hearing tests is that somebody like Harper will be able to detect issues before her hearing is permanently damaged. Recognizing your hearing loss early by getting your hearing checked when you should will help you keep your ears healthier, longer. Think about the impact of hearing loss on your overall health, it’s that important.