In our pursuit of maintaining good health, regular medical check-ups have become a familiar routine. We’re accustomed to yearly physicals, dental appointments, and eye tests. However, hearing health usually flies under the radar. Compared to other aspects of health, we tend to give less thought to our hearing.
This tendency can be traced back to the common belief that hearing loss is an inevitable aspect of aging, something that everyone will encounter eventually. While hearing loss is common, it’s not a certainty as you age. Some individuals maintain excellent hearing well into their later years.
Despite not intentionally neglecting it, hearing tends to be overlooked by many. This isn’t due to a deliberate oversight but rather a lack of awareness about the recommended frequency of hearing tests. Additionally, not enough healthcare professionals emphasize the significance of routine hearing checkups.
Now, the frequency of getting your hearing tested depends on your age. Newborn hearing screenings are performed, and regular check-ups during childhood are standard practice. According to the guidelines from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), healthy adults between 18 and 40, who don’t exhibit notable hearing loss, should consider having their hearing assessed every three to five years. For individuals falling into specific categories, more frequent hearing tests are recommended:
- Individuals aged 60 and above commonly experience presbycusis, also known as age-related hearing loss. As we grow older, the cumulative harm to the hair cells in the inner ear becomes more noticeable, specifically affecting the ability to comprehend high-frequency consonant sounds. By the age of 65, one in three people encounters presbycusis. To ensure timely detection and management, it’s advisable for all adults starting from the age of 60 to undergo annual hearing tests, irrespective of whether they are exhibiting symptoms or not.
- Individuals with regular exposure to loud noises are also at risk. Noise-induced hearing loss is nearly as prevalent as presbycusis and can affect people across all age groups. Those who frequently encounter loud environments face an increased likelihood of enduring permanent hearing damage. If you find yourself frequently exposed to noisy settings, it’s advisable to undergo an annual hearing check to monitor and address any potential issues.
- Individuals experiencing hearing loss might find this counterintuitive, but regardless of whether you’ve been diagnosed with hearing loss and utilize hearing aids, it’s of heightened significance to undergo regular hearing assessments. Even with hearing aids, as your hearing evolves, it’s important to keep your treatment current to maximize its efficacy. For these patients, an annual hearing test is recommended.
As we diligently work to safeguard our overall health, it’s necessary to cast a light on hearing health. Amid the annual routines of medical check-ups, dental care, and eye examinations, our ears deserve their share of attention. This isn’t about intentional neglect; it’s about raising awareness. By understanding the significance of regular hearing assessments, we set forth on a complete journey toward overall well-being. It’s time to include “hearing check-up” in our list of health priorities and ensure every facet of our well-being receives the consideration it deserves.