We all know how important it is to get your regular checkups done to stay at the top of your game. Going to the dentist’s every six months, for example, or having your eye tests done to make sure everything looks good.
However, unless we think something is wrong, most of us rarely ever go for a hearing test. But, just like every other part of our body, our ears regularly need to be looked at as well.
Although it is essential for all adults, how often you should schedule an appointment with your hearing specialist depends on several factors, like your age or your environment. Read on to find out how frequently you should be planning your hearing test.
The Benefits of Having a Hearing Test
Like any other check-up, an ear examination has many benefits.
Know About any Potential Problems
Scheduling a regular hearing test will allow your healthcare professional to keep track of any changes that may occur. For example, every time you have an audiogram, your specialist will compare the most recent results to your previous records.
This will allow them to see any changes in your hearing, whether it has improved or deteriorated. These tests can also help identify the causes like earwax buildup or noise-induced hearing loss.
You and your specialist can then discuss the best course of treatment to help improve your hearing.
May Help Diagnose Other Medical Conditions
Did you know that underlying disease may be what is causing an individual’s hearing loss? For example, diabetes and high blood pressure can contribute to several hearing problems.
Your hearing test can help doctors diagnose such conditions and take the best course of action.
Start Your Treatment
If your audiologist identifies hearing loss or any other hearing problem, no need to worry! You can go for several treatments depending on your condition and what you’re comfortable with.
Prevent Other Problems
People who experience hearing problems tend to avoid public places and isolate themselves, leading to anxiety and depression.
In addition, such people are also prone to injuries as they are less likely to hear sounds that signal danger and would alert them.
Keep Your Ears Healthy
Lastly, an ear exam will help you keep your ears healthy by following the advice of your healthcare professional and taking the necessary steps.
Plus, the hearing test is quick and painless and is over in under an hour.
How Often Should Adults Schedule Hearing Tests
Although all adults should get their hearing tests done regularly, how often depends on which group of individuals you belong to.
The At-Risk Individuals
These individuals are at a greater risk of developing hearing loss than others.
Age plays a significant role in determining how often you should go for a checkup. As you get older, the sensory hair cells in your inner ear are damaged, leading to several hearing complications.
If you’re above the age of 60, go to your doctor at least once a year for a regular checkup, even if you’re not experiencing any symptoms.
People on Ototoxic Medications
Ototoxicity is when an individual develops hearing problems due to damage to the inner ear because of certain medication.
These people should get their tests as frequently as possible or as recommended by their doctors.
People Who Are Around Loud Noises
People who work in environments like construction sites, road maintenance, or if you’re a part of the music industry where you’re around loud noises all day, you’re also a part of the at-risk group.
Such individuals can experience noise-induced hearing loss. Therefore, you should protect your hearing by wearing hearing protection and go for an ear exam at least once a year.
People With Hearing Loss and Other Hearing Conditions
So you got yourself tested, and your doctor gave you hearing aids. That’s it, right? Nope. People with hearing loss should go to the doctor at least once a year to ensure everything looks okay.
In addition, your hearing aids need a checkup too. If you have hearing loss, your hearing may change over time, and therefore your hearing aids would need to be adjusted accordingly.
Furthermore, it may be time to change your hearing aids. The lifespan of an average hearing aid is three to seven years. Therefore, you must replace it at once if it is not working correctly.
Or, there may be new and improved hearing aids on the market, and your doctor might believe they are more suited for you.
If you don’t fall in any of the at-risk groups, how frequently you should get your hearing test may depend on how old you are.
Doctors test babies after they are born to see how well they hear. As children, they should ideally get their tests once a year as they grow older.
People between the ages of 18 to 60 should get their hearing tested every three to five years.
You should go to your audiologist every five years in your youth and gradually decrease this gap as you get older.
However, it is best to play it safe; start early and get your annual checkups soon as you enter your fifties.
Testing Vs Screening for Hearing Loss
It’s great if you’re thinking of going for a hearing test by now. But it’s always best to prepare and understand the two types of hearing tests that your doctor may conduct.
Testing is a comprehensive hearing exam that your audiologist will do if you have hearing loss symptoms. You will sit in a sound-treated booth, and your hearing levels will be measured and plotted on an audiogram.
On the other hand, screening is a faster procedure where the doctor checks your hearing ability. This is a part of a regular hearing checkup when you don’t have any hearing loss symptoms.
If you’ve got your hearing checked regularly up till now, great for you! If not, schedule your hearing test today so your ears can continue working well.