How often should I get my hearing tested?
Most people are accustomed to making regular checkups a routine part of their medical care—i.e. vision, dental, etc.—but few pay mind to their hearing. Neglect is probably not the intent here; many are just simply unaware of how often they should get their hearing tested, and the number of physicians recommending routine hearing evaluations is small.
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (ASHA) guidelines state that healthy adults aged 18-40 who are not experiencing any noticeable hearing loss should have their hearing tested every three to five years. More frequent hearing tests are recommended for any of the following individuals:
- People over the age of 60. Presbycusis, or age-related hearing loss, is common; as we age, cumulative damage to the hair cells in the inner ear becomes more prevalent, affecting the ability to understand high frequency consonant sounds. One out of three individuals experience presbycusis by the age of 65. Annual hearing tests are recommended for all adults beginning at the age of 60, regardless of whether or not they are experiencing symptoms.
- People who are exposed to loud noises. Noise-induced hearing loss is almost as common as presbycusis, and affects individuals of all ages. Those who are frequently exposed to loud noises have a higher risk of suffering permanent damage to their hearing. People who are consistently exposed to noisy environments should have their hearing checked once a year.
- People with hearing loss. This might seem counterproductive, but even if you have been diagnosed with hearing loss and wear hearing aids, it’s more important than ever to have your hearing tested on a regular basis. Because hearing continues to change over time, it’s important that your treatment is as up-do-date as possible to ensure you are receiving the maximum benefit. These patients should have their hearing tested once a year.
Call Fort HealthCare Audiology at 920-563-6667 to schedule a free hearing screening or hearing exam.