How Often Should I Have My Hearing Tested?

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How Often Should I Have My Hearing Tested?

Lee Fletcher, Principal Audiologist at Regain Hearing

Wondering how often you should have your hearing tested? Here’s a guide.

We don’t often think of our ears and hearing when we’re looking after our health and getting check-ups. Every six months or so, you might get your teeth cleaned and examined for any cavities and anything else potentially problematic. Many people also get an annual medical check-up to make sure there’s nothing wrong. Those of us who wear glasses have regular eye tests to protect our vision. But the poor old ears hardly get a look-in, if at all. 

It’s an unfortunate fact of life we take our hearing for granted, and it’s only when things start to go wrong that you begin to pay attention. Once you begin to lose the ability to hear properly, it can be frustrating and alarming, and you may wish you had had a hearing test long ago, and then frequently after that. 

Around 12 million people in the UK have some degree of hearing loss, and a survey a while back showed that nearly all of the country’s population has never had a hearing test. As you age, hearing problems are more likely to develop, and so it’s essential you look after your hearing so that any problems you may be experiencing don’t get worse. If you’re now asking yourself, “How often should you have a hearing test?”, we’re going to give you the answer in this post. 

How Do You Know if You Need Your Hearing Tested?

You may think you have no problem with your hearing, but often it’s the case that those around you think you might. If you have to keep turning up the volume on the TV or radio, for instance, and those watching or listening with you think it’s far too loud, that may be an indicator of hearing loss, and it’s among the most common. It can be easy for elderly people to just brush it aside and say it’s part of getting older, but there are still things you can do to help restore any age-related hearing loss. 

Equally, if you have trouble making out what people are saying to you — especially in crowded places like bars or restaurants — and you have to keep asking people to repeat themselves or speak louder, it’s probably time to have a hearing test. There are lots of other signs of hearing loss, and it’s not all in the elderly either. Children can be born with hearing problems, and you’ll notice something might be up when they start speaking and if they talk differently to others. 

Our busy — and noisy — lives can play havoc with our hearing. The roar of traffic, the loud music we play on our headphones and earpods, those music festivals blasting out songs from mega-speakers so huge you can feel the vibrations pulsating through you — all this, and more, can damage the sensitive workings of the ear and cause hearing loss. It may be temporary or it could develop into something more lasting and that you need help with, in the form of hearing aids

How Often Should I Have My Hearing Tested?

Probably the first hearing test you had was when you were a baby, although it depends on how old you are and if a test was offered at the time by a hospital or your GP. Today, all babies in England are offered hearing screening, usually around four weeks after birth. Hearing is essential for language and speech development as well as general communications because if you can’t hear what those around you are saying, you won’t be able to develop your speech. 

It’s generally recommended that healthy adults have a hearing test at least once a decade, but for those who are aged 60 or over, you really should have one every year. The hairs in the inner ear responsible for transmitting sound waves further down the canal can become damaged with age, leading to hearing loss, and so you need to get your hearing checked out more regularly as you get older. 

But if you’re younger than 60 and work in an environment with high levels of noise, such as construction or road-maintenance, and all the noisy equipment that’s used, like jackhammers, you should get a hearing test every few years to make sure you haven’t suffered any damage. Tests are easy, quick and painless, and will help to protect your hearing or lead to a diagnosis that will give you the assistance you need to restore it.

Book your hearing test in London now to find out what your level of hearing is and if you need any help. We provide hearing tests in Maidstone, Eltham, Gravesend and Thanet.