When Should You Get a Hearing Test?
Hearing tests are not particularly well-known about among the general populace, nor are they part of standard health screening for most groups. As a result, many people just don’t think about attending a hearing test; they see it as something they will do in future when they reach a certain age.
However, hearing tests can be beneficial for a variety of people at various points in their lives. If any of the following apply to you – regardless of your age – it might be time to schedule an appointment with an audiologist.
You have noticed your hearing seems to have changed
Any change in your hearing should be investigated. If you have found yourself having to have the TV volume higher or ask people to repeat themselves more often, then a hearing test could help to clarify what’s happening.
You are taking certain medications
Some medications are known to be ‘ototoxic’; this means they can damage hearing as a side effect of their main function. If you have been prescribed ototoxic medications, then attending a hearing test should become part of your overall healthcare.
Many medicines are deemed to be ototoxic, so it’s important to check the warning level to see if your medication might fall into this group. Common medications with known ototoxicity include aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs; for example, ibuprofen), antibiotics, diuretics and some cancer medications.
If you are not sure if a medication you have been prescribed is ototoxic, your pharmacist should be able to assist you further.
You work in an industry where you are exposed to loud noise
Excessive exposure to loud noise is one of the leading causes of hearing loss. If you work in construction or event management, then a regular hearing test is a good way to monitor how your ears are coping with the strain. This remains the case even if you wear protective headphones over the course of your job; you want to identify any changes to your hearing as quickly as possible, so regular screening is beneficial.
You are over the age of 60
It is recommended that people over the age of 60 attend regular screening appointments for hearing loss. It is best to have a hearing test at least once every two years, and ideally once every one to two years.
You have a history of chronic ear infections
If you have a history of ear infections, a hearing test could be beneficial. Chronic infections can cause issues with hearing loss that you may otherwise overlook, especially if you are relatively young. A hearing test will help to ascertain the extent of any long-term damage, as well as providing a baseline reading to be measured against in future.
As you can see from the above, there are many reasons you may want to get a hearing test, and not all of these are related to age. Hearing tests are simple and pain-free, so if any of the above applies, scheduling an appointment with an audiologist is the right start to taking control of your hearing health.