Most people will easily schedule an annual physical, have yearly eye exams, see a dentist twice a year, and even perform routine maintenance on their car. But how often does someone schedule a routine hearing test? Do you remember the last time you had your hearing tested? Undiagnosed hearing loss can lead to other issues besides difficulty hearing. Nerve degeneration in the ear, and there are some studies that have shown a link between untreated hearing loss and dementia and other cognitive decline.
There are guideline that have been established to make sure that we are taking care of our hearing health. The American Speech-Language and Hearing Association has published guidelines that tell us how often we should have our hearing tested.
- If you are a healthy adult between the ages of 18 to 40 years, having no symptoms of hearing loss, and don’t have any risk factors, then you should have your hearing tested once every 3 to 5 years.
Reasons why you might need to have your hearing tested more often:
You are over the age of 60.
Even if you don’t feel like you are having difficulties with your hearing, annual hearing test are recommended starting at age 60 years. Hearing loss is the 3rd most common chronic health complaint of older adults. Annual hearing exams are important in identifying hearing loss early and getting the right information early!
You have been exposed to loud noises
If you have been exposed to loud noise either at work or through recreational activities, annual hearing tests are also recommended. Those who are exposed to loud sounds at work are typically tested once a year by their employer, but not always. And often we don’t realize how damaging the loud sounds we hear can be.
You have an existing hearing loss
This may seem kind of silly. You already know you have a hearing loss. Why do you need an annual test? Because our hearing continues to change as we age. We need to keep up with these changes to make sure our hearing aids and other assistive listening devices are functioning the best they can and can adjust them if necessary.
You have other medical conditions that are linked to hearing loss
Some conditions such as diabetes or people who are receiving radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or even certain antibiotics should be tested at least once a year if not more often. By doing this we can provide important information to your physician that may help guide their treatment recommendations.
If any of these conditions pertain to you, or even if you are just curious, call and schedule an appointment for a hearing test. What could it hurt?