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 sees the dentist every six months, and she reports dutifully for her annual medical examination. But she can’t remember the last time she had a hearing exam or went through any type of accurate hearing assessment.
There are a number of reasons why it’s important to have hearing exams, detecting early symptoms of hearing loss is perhaps the most important 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 Often Do You Need to Get a Hearing Test?
If the last time Sofia had a hearing exam was ten years ago, we could be worried. Or we might think it’s completely normal. Our reaction, and the reaction of her hearing specialist, likely will vary depending on how old she is. That’s because hearing specialists have different recommendations based on age.
- If you are older than fifty: The general recommendation is that anyone above the age of fifty should undergo hearing checks every year. Hearing loss is more liable to affect your life as you get older because noise damage starts to add up. There are also numerous other variables that can impact your hearing.
- At least every three years, it’s suggested that you get a hearing exam. There’s no issue having your ears tested more often, of course! But at least every three years is the bare minimum. You should certainly get evaluated more often if you are frequently in a loud environment. It’s simple and painless and there’s really no reason not to get it done.
If you want to have hearing examinations or tests more frequently, there’s obviously no harm in that, at least in terms of your hearing. Since the last time you had a hearing assessment, you may have new damage you should recognize, so more frequent hearing tests may be helpful.
Signs You Should Get Your Hearing Checked
Of course, your annual (or semi-annual) hearing exam isn’t the only good time to schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist. For instance, if you notice signs of hearing loss. And in those situations, it’s often a good idea to promptly contact a hearing specialist and schedule a hearing test.
Some of the signs that might prompt you to get a hearing test could include:
- Having a very difficult time understanding people when talking on the phone, mobile or otherwise
- When you’re talking to people, you repeatedly have to ask people to repeat themselves.
- When you’re in a noisy environment, you have problems hearing conversations.
- Sounds become muffled; it starts to sound as if you constantly have water in your ears.
- Having a tough time making out consonants (generally speaking, consonants are spoken in a higher pitch than vowels, and it’s those high-frequency sounds that are generally the first to go as hearing loss takes hold)
- Listening to your favorite tunes at excessively high volumes.
When these warning signs begin to add up, it’s a strong sign that the perfect time to get a hearing exam is right now. The more frequently you have your hearing checked, the sooner you’ll know what’s happening with your ears.
Hearing Tests, What Are The Advantages?
There are plenty of excuses why Sofia might be late in having her hearing exam. Perhaps she hasn’t considered it. Maybe thinking about it is something she’s simply avoiding. But there are concrete benefits to having your hearing tested per recommendations.
Even when your hearing is totally healthy, a hearing test can help create a standard reading, which makes variances in the future simpler to detect. If you identify your loss of hearing before it becomes noticeable, you’ll be able to protect it better.
That’s exactly why Sophia needs to go to her regular hearing appointments before any permanent impairment happens. By detecting your hearing loss early, by having your hearing examined when you’re supposed to, you’ll be keeping your ears healthier longer. It’s important to consider how hearing loss will impact your total health.