Should You Get Your Ears Tested on a Regular Basis? How Often?
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 have her oil changed every 3000 miles, she sees the dentist every six months, and she reports punctually for her yearly medical exam. But she hasn’t had a hearing examination in quite some time.
There are many reasons why it’s important to have hearing evaluations, 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 often she should get a hearing examination will help Sofia keep her ears (and hearing) as healthy as she can for as long as possible.
How Many Times Per Year Should my Hearing be Checked?
If the last time Sofia took a hearing test was a decade ago, we may be alarmed. Or we might think it’s perfectly normal. Depending on Sophia’s age, reactions might vary. This is because hearing professionals have different recommendations based on age.
- It’s generally recommended that you take a hearing assessment every three years or so. There’s no problem having your ears examined more often, of course! But once every three years is the bare minimum. You should absolutely get evaluated more frequently if you spend a lot of time in a loud environment. There’s no reason not to do it, it’s painless and easy.
- If you’re older than fifty: The universal suggestion is that anyone over the age of fifty should get hearing checks every year. As you get older, the noise damage you’ve sustained over a lifetime can start to accelerate, which means loss of hearing is more likely to start affecting your life. There are also several other factors that can affect your hearing.
As far as your hearing is concerned, more often is certainly better. The sooner you recognize any issues, the more quickly you’ll be capable of addressing whatever loss of hearing that might have developed since your last hearing exam.
You Should Get Your Hearing Checked if You Notice These Signs
Obviously, your annual (or semi-annual) hearing exam isn’t the only good occasion to schedule an appointment with a hearing professional. Occasionally, you begin to notice some symptoms of hearing loss. And in those instances, it’s typically a good idea to immediately contact a hearing specialist and schedule a hearing test.
Some of the signs that might prompt you to get a hearing test could include:
- When you’re in a loud environment, you have trouble hearing conversations.
- Turning your television or car stereo to extremely high volumes (if your neighbors begin to complain, that’s a good indication you should see a hearing specialist right away).
- Having a very difficult time understanding people when talking on the phone, any phone.
- When you’re speaking with people, you repeatedly need to keep asking people to speak up.
- Your hearing is dull like there is water in your ears.
- It’s common for loss of hearing in the high pitched register to fail first and since consonants are in a higher pitched register than vowels, they commonly go first.
When these warning signs begin to accumulate, it’s a good sign that the ideal time to have a hearing test is right now. The more frequently you get your hearing screened, the more frequently you’ll know what’s going on with your hearing.
What Are The Advantages of Hearing Testing?
Sophia might be late for her hearing exam for several reasons. Denial is a top choice. It could be that she’s just avoiding dealing with it. But there are tangible benefits to having your hearing examined per recommendations.
And it will be easier to identify hearing deviations in the future if you get your hearing checked by forming a baseline reading even if it seems like everything is just fine. If you detect your loss of hearing before it becomes noticeable, you can protect it better.
The reason for regular hearing assessment is that someone like Sofia will be able to recognize issues before her hearing is impaired permanently. By catching your hearing loss early, by getting your hearing tested when you’re supposed to, you’ll be keeping your ears healthier longer. Thinking about the effects of hearing loss on your general health, that’s important.