When Should You Have Your Hearing Tested?

a middle aged man having his hearing evaluated

Having your hearing tested is an important facet of monitoring the health of your auditory system. Whether it’s aging or exposure to loud noises, you may develop issues with your hearing and not realize it. Consider having a hearing test:

  • Once every three years if you are aged between 18-years-old and 40-years-old.
  • Once annually if you are aged above 60-years-old. 
  • If you are often exposed to loud noises. 
  • If you experience multiple signs and symptoms of hearing loss

Hearing is an essential sense and a wonderful gift. However, you can lose your sense of hearing because of a range of reasons. Hearing loss usually occurs gradually – making it possible to diagnose and treat before you lose your hearing. Regular hearing tests are necessary for this. 

So, how often should you have your hearing tested? Here is a brief guide on everything you need to know about hearing tests. 

Testing frequency depends on several factors

Hearing loss occurs gradually and may be caused by a range of factors, as mentioned. Consequently, how often you should be tested may be determined by your vulnerability to these factors. The two biggest factors to consider are: 

Age

Hearing loss is more common among the elderly as sensitive hearing organs get weaker as the body ages. To this end, people aged 60-years-old and above are advised to take annual hearing tests. Young adults aged between 18-years-old and 40-years-old are not at risk of experiencing natural hearing loss and can space out their hearing tests over every three to five years. Children are also safe, but it is still advisable to schedule annual hearing tests for your little one in case of any underlying conditions. 

Exposure to loud noises 

The World Health Organization reports that more young people are experiencing hearing loss due to exposure to loud music. Similarly, people who work in loud environments are at a higher risk of experiencing hearing difficulties that can lead to permanent hearing loss. As such, it is advisable to take annual hearing tests if you are frequently exposed to loud noises – and avoid exposure to these noises! 

Signs you need an urgent hearing test

A range of signs and symptoms accompanies hearing loss. These signs may be mild and difficult to notice at first, but they worsen as the hearing loss progresses. Consequently, you should consult an audiologist to get your hearing tested as soon as you notice these signs. 

Some of the common signs of early-onset hearing loss include: 

Missing everyday sounds 

The sounds that you hear often are almost hardwired into your brain. For example, you can recognize an elevator’s ding or a car’s engine from the faintest sounds. 

These sounds are hard to miss, but you may find yourself missing them if you are experiencing hearing loss. A common example is not hearing the doorbell ring, despite repeated warnings. It is prudent to consult an audiologist if this happens more often than desired. 

Difficulty following conversations 

Are you having difficulty following other people when having conversations? You can tell if you often ask people to repeat themselves. 

Some people speak softly, but it is time to consider that you may be the problem if you are always asking people to repeat themselves. It is necessary to get your ears checked to remedy the problem so that you can follow conversations easily. 

Difficulty hearing in noisy places 

Background noise makes it difficult to focus on one particular sound. However, it shouldn’t be harder than it is to follow your favorite song in loud background noise. Bottom line: consult an audiologist if it is getting harder to hear in noisy places. 

Ringing in your ears 

Ringing in the ears is a sign of tinnitus, a underlying symptom that can result in permanent hearing loss. It is associated with exposure to loud noises. It is advisable to consult an audiologist if the ringing is persistent. 

Raising the volume up 

People experiencing hearing loss have often been accused of cranking the volume up too loud. It is not their fault, as they are just trying to adapt to their hearing difficulty. This is a common sign of hearing loss, and it warrants a trip to the audiologist. 

Regular hearing tests are necessary to uphold your hearing health. They are especially necessary if you are experiencing hearing loss symptoms. As such, get your hearing tested as often as necessary, depending on the discussed factors. 

Peninsula Hearing performs thorough hearing tests in Port Townsend and Poulsbo, WA. Call us today at 360-697-3061 Poulsbo or 360-379-5458 Port Townsend to learn more about how we can help.