Although you might like to have a simple one-size-fits-all answer to how often you need to get a hearing test, a number of personal factors determine the necessary frequency of your tests. In general, there are two purposes of hearing tests: baseline tests and progression tests.
Let’s take a look at these two main types as well as the individual factors that determine your needed frequency for ongoing testing.
All adults can do well with a baseline test from time to time. Although most forms of hearing loss are associated with aging, it is important to establish your hearing baseline at a young age. This reference point will be used to track your future hearing ability.
Although young adults in the past were not at a great risk for hearing loss, this age group is demonstrating remarkably rapid rates of increase in hearing loss proportions. Many people attribute this increase among young people to the uptick in leisure sound, specifically the use of earbuds and headphones.
With so many devices offering audio on-the-go, it is possible to be exposed to sound throughout the day. Young adults will do well to get a baseline test in order to recognize when hearing loss becomes an issue.
It is important to regularly update your baseline measurement, and your age determines how often you need to get that test. Every five to ten years is sufficient for people under the age of 60 who do not recognize any symptoms of hearing loss.
After an initial baseline as a young adult, it might be a good idea to update your baseline at each decade turn in the calendar. However, starting at the age of 60 it is important to get annual hearing tests. Even if these tests do not demonstrate any hearing loss, they are important to notice when hearing loss does occur.
Age is not the only factor determining how frequently you need to get an update to your baseline test. If you work in an environment that exposes you to noise, then you should consider annual tests even prior to the age of 60.
Noisy work environments are not limited to factories, transportation hubs, or other industrial sites that have obviously high noise emission. Many other occupations pose a risk to hearing, as well. If you work in a restaurant, bar, music venue, club, or even an educational setting with young children, you might be exposed to loud noise levels at work. Those who have this consistent exposure need to get annual tests in order to notice the moment at which hearing loss might begin.
Hearing Loss Progression Tests
With a hearing baseline established, it may become apparent at one of your updates that you have developed hearing loss. When that diagnosis occurs, your annual tests will be necessary even if you are younger than the age of 60. Hearing loss occurs with different rates of progression, so we will want to keep track of your hearing ability over time. These tests have a number of purposes.
In the first place, hearing loss progression tests are used for general record-keeping of your condition. If you cross a threshold to require more advanced assistance than hearing aids, then these tests can make that clear. In addition to this purpose, progression tests will make it clear to our hearing specialists if you would be better served by a different set of hearing aids.
Although most hearing aids are suited to a range of hearing needs, those who have very advanced hearing loss can benefit from other types of aids that provide the maximum level of amplification. You might feel like your task is completed when you get your hearing aids and that you don’t need to take another test.
On the contrary, annual tests are recommended for those who already know they have hearing loss. The good news is that hearing tests are quick and painless, making it no problem at all to get a regular test.
If you have never had a hearing test at all, then take this opportunity to make an appointment, establishing your baseline hearing ability and offering valuable knowledge for the future! Contact us today to schedule an appointment.