How often do you need a hearing test?

Have you noticed that your hearing has changed but you’ve still not done anything about it? Most people make regular check-ups part of their routine medical care. However, not everyone pays enough attention to their hearing. Untreated hearing loss can have a significant impact on your quality of life. For everyone, especially the 466 million people worldwide with hearing loss, taking care of your hearing should be just as important as taking care of the rest of your health. This should start with a hearing test with a hearing care professional.

For many people, they only choose to schedule a hearing test when they suspect they may have a hearing a problem. However, by doing so their options for effective treatments may be more limited. Regular hearing tests will ensure that any issues in your hearing health are picked up early.

When to schedule a hearing test

How often you should have a hearing test largely depends on your age and whether you experience problems or changes with your hearing.

  • Children: For children, newborn hearing screenings are vital, alongside regular hearing check-ups throughout childhood.
  • Healthy adults: It’s generally recommended that adults aged between 18 and 50 years of age should have a hearing test every three to five years. However, if you experience a change in your hearing outside of those times, or your family, friends or co-workers begin to make comments about your hearing, you should schedule a hearing test sooner rather than later.
  • Hearing aid users: If you already wear hearing aids, then appointments with your hearing care professional should be incorporated as part of your annual health care routine. Your hearing can continue to change over time and your hearing aids must be appropriately programmed for them to be able to give you the maximum possible benefit. It’s therefore important you have a hearing test at least once a year.
  • Adults over the age of 60: Age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) is relatively common. As you get older, cumulative damage to the hair cells of your inner ear increases and this will affect your ability to detect higher frequencies. If you are above the age of 60 then it’s a good idea to have a hearing test at least once a year, regardless of whether you experience symptoms or not.
  • People exposed to loud noises: Noise-induced hearing loss is relatively common and can affect anyone at any age. If you are regularly exposed to loud noises then you have a greater risk of permanently damaging your hearing. If you work in noisy environments, regularly take part in noisy activities such as riding motorcycles, attend music concerts, wear headphones for extended periods of time or listen to loud music or are often exposed to sudden loud noises such as in the military or law enforcement then you should have your hearing tested once a year.

 

Why have a hearing test?

Scheduling regular hearing tests is crucial throughout adulthood, especially once you are over the age of 50. Hearing loss can be gradual and is not always easy to spot for the person experiencing it. Being proactive about your hearing health and scheduling regular consultations with a hearing care professional will help you address any hearing problems quickly.

There are numerous reasons why you must look after your hearing health and have regular hearing tests. For instance:

  • Hearing loss can be an early warning sign for other health conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease
  • Untreated hearing loss can increase your risk of developing dementia
  • Untreated hearing loss can lead to social isolation and depression
  • Your chance of falling increases when you have untreated hearing loss
  • Treating hearing loss with hearing aids is recommended to reduce your risk of cognitive decline

Signs you need a hearing test

It can sometimes be difficult to spot that your hearing has changed, especially if the deterioration has happened gradually over time. If you notice any of the symptoms below, you should schedule a hearing test.

  • You need to turn up the volume of the TV
  • You struggle to understand speech and follow conversations
  • You often ask people to repeat what they’ve said
  • You feel drained after conversations
  • You don’t hear the phone, doorbell or alarms

If you experience any of these symptoms, you will certainly benefit from a hearing evaluation.

Next steps

If you notice a change in your hearing or haven’t had a hearing test for some time, schedule a consultation with a hearing care professional as soon as possible. They will be able to recommend the best course of treatment for you to enable you to enjoy the benefits of good hearing health.

With you on your journey to better hearing.

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