How Often Should You Get a Hearing Test?
It’s recommended that you visit your primary care physician once a year for a physical and general check up. Dentists recommend that you get your teeth cleaned a couple of times a year and a full routine exam at least once a year. If you wear glasses, you get your vision tested at least every two years to see if you need adjustments to your prescription.
But do you know how often you should get a hearing test?
Screening vs. testing
To start with, you must understand the difference between a hearing screening and a hearing test. Screenings detect your ability to hear certain sounds in certain situations. The purpose is to identify if there is possible hearing loss. They are generally a “pass” “fail” type of exam. If you pass, it is presumed you have no hearing loss. If you fail, further in-depth testing is necessary to assess level and type of hearing loss present.
It is important to have your hearing screened on a regular basis. Based on the results of the hearing screening, you may need to have further hearing tests performed.
Hearing screening for children
In the United States, newborns have their hearing screened as soon as they are born. This first hearing screening happens in the hospital before the baby is discharged.
Toddlers should have their hearing screened at the age of two or three. If a child has delayed speech development, hearing should be screened to determine if that is contributing to the speech delay. Another screening should be done before the child starts school.
Once in school, hearing screenings are performed at the elementary level every year. If your child attends a school that does not provide screening, talk to your primary care physician. If hearing problems are detected by the hearing screening, you will be referred to an audiologist for a complete hearing test.
Hearing screening for adults
Starting at the age of 18 and continuing until you are 50, a hearing screening should be part of your annual physical every three to five years. Because hearing loss often occurs gradually, it can be difficult to recognize when you have it. This is why it’s so important to have screenings performed or to schedule an appointment with an audiologist to establish a baseline hearing exam.
When to see an audiologist
If you notice it is hard to understand conversations in noisy environments or if you catch yourself asking people to repeat themselves, you might have some level of hearing loss. If family complains that you listen to the radio or TV too loud, that is a clear sign of hearing loss. It’s common for people to live with hearing loss for several years before they do anything about it, but that’s not good for your quality of life.
If you think you may have hearing loss, it’s important to seek treatment right away. Schedule an appointment with an audiologist in your area and take control of your hearing health!
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