McDonald Hearing Services - Grand Rapids, MI

Woman getting her hearing test to see if she has hearing loss.

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 goes to her annual doctor’s appointments, she visits a dentist every six months, and she gets the oil changed in her car every 3000 miles. But she can’t remember the last time she took a hearing exam or went through any kind of accurate hearing evaluation.

Hearing assessments are important for a wide range of reasons, the most important of which is that it’s normally hard for you to discover the initial signs of hearing loss without one. Knowing how regularly 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 Often Do You Need to Have a Hearing Assessment?

If the last time Sofia had a hearing exam was a decade ago, we could be worried. Or we may think it’s completely normal. Our response, and the reaction of her hearing specialist, most likely will vary depending on how old she is. That’s because hearing specialists have different recommendations based on age.

  • If you are over fifty years old: But if you’re above the age of fifty, the suggestion is, you have a hearing test every year. Hearing loss is more likely to affect your life as you get older because noise damage starts to add up. There are also several other variables that can impact your hearing.
  • At least every three years, it’s suggested that you have a hearing assessment. There’s no harm in having your ears examined more frequently, of course! The bare minimum is every three years. You should absolutely get evaluated more often if you spend a lot of time in a noisy environment. There’s no reason not to get it done, it’s painless and simple.

If you want to have hearing screenings or tests more frequently, there’s certainly no harm in that, at least in terms of your hearing. Since you last had a hearing test, you may have new injury you should recognize, so more frequent hearing tests could be practical.

Signs You Should Get Your Hearing Checked

There are undoubtedly other times besides your annual hearing test that you may want to schedule an appointment with your hearing professional. As an example, if you notice symptoms of hearing loss. And in those circumstances, it’s often a good plan to immediately contact a hearing specialist and schedule a hearing exam.

Some of the signs that might prompt you to get a hearing test could include:

  • Regularly asking people to repeat themselves or slow down during a conversation.
  • Having a very hard time understanding people when talking on the phone, mobile or otherwise
  • Having a hard time making out consonants (generally speaking, consonants are spoken in a higher wavelength than vowels, and it’s those high-frequency sounds that are often the first to go as hearing loss takes hold)
  • Your hearing is dull like there is water in your ears.
  • Turning your television or car stereo to extremely high volumes (if your neighbors start complaining, that’s a good sign you should see a hearing specialist soon).
  • When you’re in a noisy environment, you have trouble hearing conversations.

A strong sign that right now is the best time to get a hearing test is when the warning signs begin to accumulate. You need to know what’s happening with your ears and that means getting a hearing test as soon as possible.

What Are The Benefits of Hearing Testing?

There are plenty of reasons why Sofia might be late in getting her hearing test. Denial is a top choice. Perhaps thinking about it is something she’s just avoiding. But getting your hearing checked on the recommended schedule has concrete benefits.

Even when your hearing is totally healthy, a hearing exam can help set a baseline reading, which makes deviations in the future simpler to detect. If you detect your hearing loss before it becomes noticeable, you can protect it better.

The reason for regular hearing assessment is that somebody like Sofia will be able to recognize issues before her hearing is diminished permanently. Early detection by a hearing examination can help your hearing be healthy for a long time. Considering the impact of hearing loss on your overall health, that’s important.