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How Often Should You Go for a Hearing Test?

an audiologist is reviewing a patient's audiogram

According to a study published in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, people don't always recognize when they have a hearing issue, and some older adults often underestimate their level of hearing loss. Because of this, some people neglect their hearing health and don't go for regular hearing tests that they would benefit from.  

The study included 2,613 people who were aged 60 or older, and it analyzed the way participants rated their hearing and compared that to the results from hearing tests. The researchers found that 42% of people who reported no hearing trouble turned out to have mild hearing loss when tested. 

While there are no official guidelines on how often you should get your hearing checked in adulthood, most medical providers, including audiologists, recommend a hearing test every three years beginning when you are age 50. Before you reach 50, however, it is recommended that you get a hearing test every ten years. There is another reason why your hearing loss may affect you. For example, if you are exposed to loud noise through your job or your hobbies, then it's important to take extra care of your ears. If you are a musician, work for an airline or at an airport, an ambulance driver or a construction worker or even if you go to music concerts regularly, then you should get your ears tested more often. 

Other reasons you might want to increase how often you get your hearing tested is if you have a family history of hearing loss as this could mean that it will affect you earlier too. 

Some medications for other health issues could impact your hearing, so make sure you know the side effects of anything you are taking, and if hearing loss is one of them, then make a point to get tested regularly. And finally, if you are experiencing recurring ear infections, any hearing loss symptoms or a change in hearing, including ringing in your ears or difficulty understanding what others are saying, then it's important to go and get your hearing tested. 

Hearing loss can strike at any time during a person's life and occur for a variety of reasons. Noise exposure and aging are two of the most common causes, and, in both cases, hearing loss can build slowly or come on suddenly. Not only is hearing loss associated with some mood and cognitive issues, but it also becomes more common with age as long-term noise exposure damages the tiny hair cells in your ear that allow you to hear. As you age, you're also more likely to have conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes, which have been associated with hearing loss.

If you have found yourself noticing that you are continually asking people to repeat themselves, it has become difficult to hear people when you're talking on the phone, or you find yourself having to listen extra carefully to hear what people are saying. If at any time, you specifically notice that your hearing isn't what it used to be, then you should make arrangements to have a hearing test. 

It's not just you either if you are worried about your friends or family member's hearing, then you should mention it to them. Also, if you are a parent, then you should have your child's hearing tested once a year unless you have noticed problems with your child's ability to hear, in which case screenings should be more frequent. Does your child seem to hear fine some of the time but then not respond at other times? Perhaps your child wants the TV volume louder than other members of the family? Does your child say, What? more often, or do they move one ear forward when listening, or complain that they can only hear out of their good ear?

Have you noticed that your child isn't doing as well in school, or has their teacher mentioned that your child doesn't seem to hear or respond as well as other children in the class? If your child says that they didn't hear you, you might think that they're just not paying attention when in fact, there may be an unidentified hearing loss. Also, something to look out for is if your child starts to louder than previously or if your child looks at you intensely when you speak to them, as if concentrating, they may be depending more on visual cues for interpreting what you are saying.

To learn more about House of Hearing, call at 801-221-1220!