Hearing tests are carried out frequently during childhood, but once you reach adulthood, they tend to take a back seat. You might assume that your hearing is good if you haven’t noticed any obvious signs of hearing loss, but most people find that their hearing deteriorates gradually. This means that it can take years for noticeable symptoms to occur. To protect your hearing and ensure that treatment is administered as early as possible, it’s wise to go for regular hearing tests. If you’re worried about your hearing, or you can’t remember the last time you had a hearing test, this guide should come in handy.
How often should you go for a hearing test?
There is no universal answer to this question and the response will depend largely on your age and your hearing. Hearing loss is often linked to aging, and it’s beneficial for older people to have their hearing assessed on a regular basis. Ideally, people over 60 should have a hearing test at least once every two to three years. Adults under the age of 60 should consider having their ears tested every three to five years. It’s crucial to note that if you do experience any signs of hearing loss, you shouldn’t wait for your next scheduled appointment. Call and ask to book a test as soon as possible.
Some people undergo hearing screening as part of their annual physical health assessment. If you have annual screening tests, and the results are positive, you shouldn’t need to arrange another hearing test before your next scheduled appointment. If the results do indicate that there may be signs of hearing loss, it’s a good idea to book a test.
How to spot the signs of hearing loss
Many people find that their hearing deteriorates over a prolonged period of time, and sometimes, this means that the early signs are tricky to spot. It’s useful to be aware of common symptoms of hearing loss and to keep an eye on your hearing. Signs to look out for include:
- Turning up the volume on your radio, TV or music player: if you keep reaching for the volume dial or buttons, this could indicate that you have hearing loss. It’s particularly important to have a hearing test if other people have suggested that your music or the TV show you’re watching are really loud.
- Missing words or sentences: have you started to notice that you’re struggling to understand what people are trying to say, or are you missing words during a conversation? If you’re repeating words you think you’ve heard, and they’re different to those used by friends or colleagues, it’s wise to have your hearing tested. If you miss a word, or you mistake one letter for another, for example, this can alter the meaning of the sentence and cause confusion.
- Asking colleagues or friends to repeat themselves: sometimes, it can be difficult to hear people, especially if there is background noise, or the person you’re talking to has a very quiet or soft voice. Isolated incidents of asking people to repeat themselves don’t usually cause any concern, but if you’re finding yourself asking different people to repeat what they’ve said on a regular basis, or you feel like everyone around you is mumbling, this could be a symptom of hearing loss. If your hearing is poor, you might also have noticed that you’re looking at people more intently when they speak to watch their lips or gauge their body language.
When to seek advice
It’s common to experience difficulties with hearing if you’re trying to have a conversation in a busy restaurant or at a music gig, but if you spot the signs listed above, it’s best to err on the side of caution. If early signs of hearing loss are detected, they can be addressed swiftly to improve your hearing and protect your ears. If you have a hearing test and the results indicate that you have hearing loss, treatments like hearing aids can have an amazing impact on your ability to hear, communicate and feel confident in different environments. Modern hearing aids are discreet and comfortable, and they offer a wealth of benefits. A hearing instrument specialist (HIS) can provide you with information about different hearing aid styles and help you choose a device to suit your needs and preferences.
If it has been a long time since you had a hearing test, or you have any questions about hearing assessments, we can help. Why not call our friendly team at Wesson Hearing Aid Center at (209) 275-1657 to find out more?