When Is It the Time Take a Hearing Test?

When Is It the Time Take a Hearing Test?

Gulf Gate Hearing Aid Center / July 2, 2022

When we are young most of us enjoy resilience and quick healing, allowing many of us to put off checkups. However, as we age, to maintain our health, it becomes increasingly more important to stay on top of our health. We normalize annual physicals, dental exams, and vision tests. Unfortunately, few pay as much attention to their hearing despite being essential to how we communicate with others and interface with the world. What is worse, while vision and dental are often covered by insurance companies, hearing health rarely is. 

It’s important to start taking hearing seriously. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around 50 million people in the United States are affected by hearing loss and by 2050, 2.5 billion people worldwide will be living with some degree of hearing loss – a 50% increase from the current estimate of 1.5 billion. Prevention and knowing the causes of hearing loss is a big part of dealing with the increasing rise but the other key part is treatment. Hearing loss is an irreversible condition, but it can be treated. Before you can treat hearing loss you must attend a hearing test – so how often do you need to be tested? 

You May Have Hearing Loss and Not Even Know It!

One of the most confounding aspects of hearing loss is that it’s common to not even be aware there is an issue in the first place. People often go years without realizing they have a hearing problem until it’s difficult to hear, even in the most ideal of listening situations. This is due to hearing loss’s subtle and creeping nature. At first, you may only miss certain tones and sounds. The chirping of birds, the doorbell, or the alarm on the oven might go missing. It may also deplete your ability to hear certain sounds or tones in speech, such as consonants like s,h,f,b, and c, This makes following conversation incredibly difficult to follow – leaving blank spaces in words and sentences, leaving a listener feeling depleted and exhausted from even a small conversation. 

It takes most people on average 7 to 10 years from the time they suspect they have a hearing loss to seek treatment and by then many dangerous side effects of hearing loss have set in such as cognitive decline, chronic depression, social isolation, and a depleted sense of space. It’s essential to test for hearing loss regularly, to combat these often irreversible side effects.

How Often?!

How often you have your hearing tested depends on your age. It’s standard to test for hearing loss in newborns and regularly scheduled pediatric visits hearing loss screenings are normal. “Few adults give their hearing much thought unless they are experiencing a noticeable loss or a sudden change in their hearing ability,” explains Paul Pietrzyk, Au.D., CCC-A, an audiologist with TriHealth. “By then, their options for treatment may be more limited, so it’s important to follow the guidelines to detect hearing loss early.”

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), healthy adults ages 18-40 years old, who are not experiencing noticeable signs of hearing loss, should have their hearing tested every three to five years. However, Dr. Pietrzyk recommends more frequent hearing for any of the following individuals:

People over the age of 60

Age-related hearing loss, also known as presbycusis, is the most common type of hearing loss affecting one in three over the age of 65 and half of those 75 and older. Presbycusis is cumulative damage to the hair cells in the inner ear, from a lifetime of listening to loud sounds, exposure to chemicals, or even due to chronic diseases common with age such as heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and diabetes. becomes more prevalent, affecting the ability to understand high frequencies. For older adults, annual hearing tests are recommended regardless of whether they are experiencing symptoms.

People Exposed to Loud Noise

Noise-induced hearing loss is almost as common as presbycusis and can affect people regardless of age. Those most at risk work in noisy environments such as construction, agriculture military, or law enforcement. Others who partake in noisy hobbies such as mechanics, motorcycle riding, or target practice are also at risk and should have their hearing checked once a year.

People with Hearing Loss

Just because you’ve already been diagnosed with hearing loss and you are currently wearing hearing aids, doesn’t mean you are free of further damage. Hearing loss is a progressive disease and can become worse if you don’t keep up to date. Schedule your next annual hearing exam today and stay on top of your hearing health.

Gulf Gate Hearing Aid Center offers complete audiometric evaluations, ear wax removal, hearing aid sales, repairs & programming, and related products & services.
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