How Often Should I Have My Hearing Checked?
An annual medical check-up is an everyday thing that people undertake for early diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of their optical, dental, or overall health. However, hearing is one of the check-ups people rarely do, not because they care less about their hearing. Hearing checking is hardly an annual medical routine, as people do not know the recommended frequency for hearing examinations.
There are also few doctors and medical associations endorsing routine hearing check-ups. You may wonder how often you should have your hearing checked? Before exploring the recommended hearing check-up frequency, let’s first discuss its benefits.
Why Are Hearing Check-Ups Important?
Hearing screenings are essential due to the benefits they provide to the individual, including:
- It clears any doubts about one’s hearing. The test results will either confirm or reject any uncertainties regarding hearing loss that may have pushed an individual to have the check-up. These results provide some relief as a way forward is explored.
- Early detection and intervention of any hearing problem. Hearing check-ups will determine the onset of any hearing loss and the best intervention, such as hearing aids, to enhance the patient’s hearing. This boosts the person’s quality of life as they can now hear even the most subtle sounds.
- Improves the individual’s relationship. Since individuals experiencing early hearing loss may not be aware of it, people around them tend to assume they are ignoring them. The individual, in turn, may prefer to let some things slip by them instead of asking people to repeat what they are saying out of fear they will become annoyed.
- Diagnosis of other related illnesses. Some severe illnesses may manifest with hearing loss as one of their symptoms. This can be caught early during a hearing check-up.
How Often Should You Have Your Hearing Checked?
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) recommends that every healthy adult aged 18-40 years and not experiencing any hearing loss should visit an audiologist every 3-5 years for a hearing examination. However, more frequent check-ups should be conducted if:
- You are above 60 years of age. It is expected that as people age, they experience a type of hearing loss known as presbycusis. It is because the hair cells in the inner ear become damaged with time, affecting the ability to recognize high frequencies. Around 33% of individuals will have experienced presbycusis by the time they are 65 years old, which rises to 50% among 70-year-old senior citizens. An annual hearing examination is advised for every adult over 60 years old, regardless of whether or not they are experiencing any hearing loss.
- You are constantly in noisy places. People who work in noisy environments, such as factory workers, nightclub workers, airport ground staff, motorcycle couriers, and construction workers, are exposed to loud noises. That may cause permanent hearing damage. These individuals are advised to have an annual hearing screening.
- You have hearing problems. If you have been diagnosed with hearing loss and use hearing aids, you require regular check-ups. This is to check for any improvements, since your hearing may constantly change with time. It also allows for your hearing aids programming to be adjusted as you progress for your optimal benefit.
Hearing screenings are essential as they provide several benefits, including early detection and intervention of any hearing problem. They also improve the individual’s relationship and can help diagnose other related illnesses.