You make an appointment with your doctor for a yearly check-up. You make an appointment with your dentist for a bi-annual teeth-cleaning, but what about your hearing? Do you schedule an appointment every year to get your hearing checked by a professional?
Health professionals recommend getting a baseline hearing test by the time you reach adulthood and an annual hearing test after the age of 55 – but it is important to make hearing exams a part of your annual check-up list at every age.
Why should I get my hearing checked?
Do you ever think to yourself, “My hearing just isn’t what it used to be?”
Most likely not, because hearing loss is often a gradual process.
This gradual loss makes it difficult to monitor and identify any changes in your ability to hear. Sometimes it takes years for individuals to realize they may need treatment. However, making annual checkups a priority could save yourself from profound hearing loss in the future.
Groups at greatest risk of hearing loss
Changes in hearing can occur at various times throughout a person’s life, but hearing is greatly affected by two main factors: aging and noise.
Age-related hearing loss is one of the most common conditions affecting older adults and happens to many people as they grow older. According to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), one in three people within the United States between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss, while half of those older than 75 years of age have difficulty hearing in some capacity.
Additionally, since some occupations pose a greater risk of hearing loss than others, more frequent check-ups may be recommended. If you work in a loud environment and think you may have signs of hearing loss, find a clinic near you and schedule an appointment for a hearing evaluation. Your general physician or audiologist may also make a recommendation on how often you should get your hearing checked to avoid occupational hearing loss.
Whom should get their hearing checked?
According to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA), individuals of every age should be tested.
Newborns, infants, and toddlers
Newborns have their hearing tested within the first 24 hours of life and are usually tested again about six to seven months later. Infants and toddlers are tested between two and three years of age. The earlier a hearing issue is identified, the sooner treatment can begin, ultimately reducing the likelihood of any problems in the future.
School-aged children ages of five to eighteen should have their hearing tested prior to entering school. Children kindergarten through third grade should be tested annually and then retested in both seventh and eleventh grade, according to ASHA. However, if children experience frequent ear infections or have a history of hearing loss within the family, they should be tested more frequently. Identifying hearing issues early on can offset any adverse effects later.
Most high school and college-aged students are exposed to loud noises (i.e. parties, concerts, listening to their earbuds too loudly), so it is encouraged these individuals get their hearing tested more frequently as well.
Adults between the ages of 18 to 55 should get their hearing tested at least once, followed by exams every one to three years, depending on their audiogram results. If adults work are exposed to loud noises due to their occupation, they should have their hearing tested more often as mentioned by OSHA.
Adults 55 and older
Adults 55 years of age or older should get their hearing tested once a year. Remember, hearing loss is a gradual process, so don’t wait until there seems to be an issue. The sooner hearing loss is identified the sooner it can be remedied! You can ask your general physician to administer a hearing exam at your next appointment, schedule a visit with an audiologist, or find a free clinic near you.
Remember, your hearing health should be a priority, just like your general health, so take action and schedule your evaluation today!
If you think you have signs of hearing loss, schedule an appointment at a Connect Hearing center near you. Hearing evaluations are free! Our premium services and staff will be there every step of the way to help you take care of your hearing.