When Should You Get a Hearing Test?
Hearing loss is a common condition, as people get older. This condition can develop gradually, so it’s important to know when to have your hearing checked. A hearing test can determine if you have hearing loss so that you can get treatment and improve your quality of life.
When to Have a Hearing Test
Adults should have a hearing test done once after they turn 21. If you haven’t been experiencing any signs of hearing loss, you should have a hearing test done every decade up to the age of 50. When you turn 50, you should have a hearing test done every few years. Your risk of hearing loss goes up as you get older due to age-related changes in your ear and other causes. Roughly one-third of people who are 65 or older have hearing loss to some degree.
Signs of Hearing Loss
There are certain signs to watch for that could indicate a loss of hearing. These include the following:
- People constantly repeating what they say: You might hear other people’s voices as a mumbling sound that makes it difficult to know what they said. You might also have trouble hearing certain voices, such as higher-pitched voices.
- Being unable to hear in public places: Restaurants, stores, and other public places can be harder to hear others due to background noise. However, when you’re unable to hear or follow conversations in these places at all, it’s time to schedule a hearing test.
- Turning up the volume: You find that you keep turning up the volume on your TV or other devices.
- Experiencing ringing in your ears: Occasional ringing in your ears is fairly common, but it shouldn’t happen often. Frequent ringing in your ears may be a sign for hearing loss.
- Having difficulty talking on the phone: You start avoiding phone calls due to an inability to hear the other person speak, or if the other person’s voice sounds muffled or quiet.
- Being unable to hear background sounds: You might notice that you’re having trouble hearing sounds that you’re used to, such as the phone ringing or cars going by outside.
What to Expect
There are different types of test you can have done. An audiometric examination involves indicating whether or not you are able to distinguish between different words with similar sounds, such as “car” and “bar.” If you have trouble distinguishing between these types of words, this indicates some degree of hearing loss. Other tests you might have done include ENG testing to check your balance and ESoG testing to measure how much fluid is in your ear.
Prevent Hearing Loss
You may not be able to completely prevent age-related hearing loss from occurring. However, there are ways to reduce your risk of hearing loss overall. These include the following:
- Wearing protective ear coverings when you are in a loud environment, such as at work
- Getting regular hearing tests done to check for hearing loss so that you can get hearing aids or devices if needed
- Keep the volume lower when listening to music, especially if you are listening to it through headphones. Exposure to loud noises over a long period of time puts you at a higher risk of hearing loss.
If you believe you are experiencing signs and symptoms of hearing loss, you can schedule a hearing test to be done. The first step is to contact New York ENT to make an appointment. Our board-certified physicians have extensive experience diagnosing and treating a wide variety of ear conditions.