The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association recommends getting your hearing checked once every decade up to the age of 50. Then, you should have your hearing tested every three years. Hearing loss typically happens as you grow older. However, regular screenings will help you monitor your hearing and determine when and if you need help.
When should I get my hearing tested based on my age?
Although hearing loss tends to happen at an older age, we recommend getting your hearing checked throughout the course of your life. Whether your hearing loss is related to a medical issue, lifestyle, or simple genetics, regular testing will help us keep track of any loss and find the right intervention for you.
One of the main reasons to get a child’s hearing tested is speech-related issues. Typically, speech pathologists screen hearing to see if it’s related to the speech impediment. However, this isn’t always the case so some parents are left wondering if hearing loss is related to their child’s speech problems. If you want to know for sure, it’s best to bring your child in for a screening.
Some other signs to look out for are children turning the volume up on the television, complaining about their ears hurting, or the inability to locate where sounds are coming from. For example, if your child is outside playing and you call his name and he’s looking around for you, that’s a sign of potential hearing problems.
Common ear issues children around the ages of 8 and 9 deal with are ear infections and getting fluid trapped in the ear. These issues can affect hearing but are usually not permanent. Before and after the issue gets resolved, it’s a good idea to have your child’s hearing tested to document any changes that take place. If we find their speech and language development or schooling are getting effected, then we’ll do further testing to determine what’s going on.
Additionally, if you have a family history of hearing loss, we recommend getting your child’s hearing tested.
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For teenagers, the potential of early hearing loss greatly depends on lifestyle and/or genetics. If they’re in a band, go to a lot of concerts, or use earphones at maximum volume, getting their hearing tested is a good idea. Teenagers usually aren’t thinking about their hearing or potentially losing it. If you have a teenager at home, it’s important you know that lifestyle choices involving loud noise exposure could trigger hearing loss at a young age. Just like with children, if you have a family history of hearing loss, encourage your teenager to get their hearing tested. It’s always best to err on the side of caution even if nothing is wrong.
For young adults, if you have a job that involves loud noise exposure, have tinnitus, post-military hearing issues, or use earphones on a regular basis, we advise getting your hearing checked. Getting your hearing checked and monitored early can help us catch minor changes before they become big problems. This way, we’re also able to make recommendations that suit your current lifestyle. For example, musician’s ear plugs or anything that allows you to continue doing what you love.
This category is for those approaching or who’ve passed 50 years of age. If you have a history of loud noise exposure or take medications that may cause hearing loss, you should get your hearing tested. At this point, most people have already had their hearing tested so we have somewhat of a baseline as reference. Aside from lifestyle and medical factors, there are some signs that might indicate hearing loss – asking people to repeat themselves, trouble hearing background noise, turning the volume up, etc.
Regular testing provides us with a good baseline to work off of. If we notice changes in your hearing within certain time frames (every 2 years or so), we’ll be able to somewhat predict future changes. This way, we’re able to treat present and future hearing loss.
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What are other reasons to get your hearing tested?
One of the main reasons to get your hearing tested is if you’ve personally noticed a change in your hearing. Even if you aren’t experiencing strong symptoms of hearing loss and are just curious, it’s always a good idea to get checked.
Another sign of hearing loss is tinnitus, which is a ringing of the ears. Tinnitus and hearing loss often coincide, but not always, which is why it’s best to get your hearing checked.
Lastly, underlying medical conditions could result in hearing loss. This is one of the most important reasons to get your hearing tested regularly. If we detect a medical problem is behind your hearing loss, we’ll refer you to your primary care doctor or an ear, nose, and throat specialist. If your hearing loss is not due to something medical, then you might be a candidate for amplification.
Right now, the Audiology Center of St. Johns does not charge for hearing tests. If you’d like to get one done, call and schedule an appointment. If we find that you’re a candidate for hearing aids or could benefit from other interventions, we’ll provide you with all the information you’ll need. Hearing tests are quick and painless. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more! We look forward to meeting you!