Hearing is one of the most important yet often overlooked aspects of our health. It’s an incredibly crucial sense that helps us to connect with others, understand and process information, and generally enjoy day-to-day life.
However, whilst many won’t think twice about scheduling in semi-annual dentist check-ups or frequent trips to the GP, a visit to the audiologist is rarely at the top of the to-do list. Whilst there’s no real reason behind this, it’s important that we spread awareness of the importance of looking after our hearing health as it can have such a profound impact on our lives.
It’s time that we stop neglecting our ear health and make it a priority! In this blog, we’ll discuss how often you should be getting a hearing test, and why they can make all the difference.
How often should you get your hearing tested?
Generally, it’s recommended that all healthy adults should have a hearing test at least once every decade. This is provided that you have no current hearing problems and don’t have any risk factors such as high noise exposure or a family history of hearing loss.
When you reach 60 years old, it’s recommended that you should have a hearing test every year. If you’re over 65 and haven’t had your hearing checked in the last 5 years, it’s important to book an appointment as soon as possible even if you don’t think you need one.
This is based on the average rate of hearing loss in adults and the average progression of age-related hearing loss. We have hairs in our inner ears which are responsible for transmitting sound waves down the ear canal. As we get older, these hairs can become damaged which leads to a disruption of these sound waves and can cause hearing loss. Therefore, it’s crucial that as we get older we have more regular hearing tests to detect any changes.
These recommendations apply to the general population, but there are some lifestyle factors that will require certain people to need more frequent hearing tests. For example, if you work in a particularly noisy environment such as a construction site, you should have your hearing tested every few years to detect and prevent any damage due to this high level of noise exposure.
Along with this, if you have a family history of hearing loss you may be required to have more regular hearing tests to help detect any early signs of hearing loss.
How do you know if you need your hearing tested?
Whilst the above are general guidelines for getting your hearing tested, they simply outline the minimum frequency that should be kept in mind. If you’re under 60 and have had a hearing test in the past 5 years, you don’t need to wait another 5 years before your next one if you suspect that something might be wrong.
If you’re experiencing any symptoms of hearing loss such as difficulty understanding speech, reduced hearing clarity in noisy environments or the need to constantly turn the volume up on your TV, it’s important to get your hearing tested as soon as possible.
There are many different types of hearing loss, and it affects everyone differently. Some people suffer from more severe hearing loss than others, and some may experience it in one or both ears. Regardless, if you feel like your hearing has changed in any way, it’s essential that you get it checked out sooner rather than later.
Why regular hearing tests are important
Many people fail to realise the importance of hearing tests, but they are crucial to keeping our ears in check.
Firstly, they are a great preventative measure to take. Whilst it’s important to get your ears checked if you notice a decline in your hearing ability, it’s also key to get tested even if you feel completely healthy. As hearing tests help to identify any potential hearing problems, if you schedule them regularly then you’re one step ahead of treating any issues before they arise. This proactive approach aids with early detection and will allow you to take action as soon as possible, in order to prevent any further damage.
Secondly, audiologists can determine the cause of the problem through a hearing test. This means that they can advise on the best course of treatment to ease your symptoms and prevent them from worsening over time. This may include anything from hearing aids and cochlear implants to medical referrals or reevaluation.
Thirdly, audiologists can also detect any signs of abnormalities or underlying medical conditions during a hearing test that may require attention. For example, if your hearing test reveals that you have high-frequency hearing loss, it may indicate the presence of a middle ear problem, such as an ear infection.
Finally, regular hearing tests can help to track changes in your hearing over time. This is incredibly useful information to have, as it can further help your audiologist detect any notable shifts in your hearing or unusual patterns to keep track of. This can help to plan ahead and determine the effectiveness of any current treatments.
As a general summary, the earlier you detect hearing loss the better. This is something that can only be done with a hearing test, which is why it’s important to have them regularly. Hearing loss can happen at any age and when undiagnosed it can worsen over time, so the sooner you book in for a hearing test, the better chance you have of protecting your hearing health.
Where can I get a hearing test?
If you’re looking for a hearing test in the West Midlands, look no further than Sutton Hearing Centre. We operate two independent audiology clinics in Sutton Coldfield and Solihull.
We’re a long-established business with a history of over 70 years and a team of highly skilled, professional audiologists. We have a passion for ear health and helping to improve our patients’ quality of hearing.
Our hearing tests include a full diagnostic of your hearing, which only takes around an hour. After this, we will discuss your results in-depth and recommend the most suitable course of action for you going forward.
If you’re feeling uncertain about booking your first hearing test, find out all you need to know in this blog post. Alternatively, try our online hearing test to quickly assess your hearing ability from the comfort of your own home.
If you’re ready to book an appointment or would like to find out more, please get in touch with us and a member of our friendly team will be happy to help.