Do you struggle to follow conversations in places with a lot of background noise? Have you noticed changes in your hearing health, or feel like you’re missing out on many of the sounds around you? If you have hearing loss, then the New Year is a great opportunity to do the right thing for your overall health and your hearing health. Make a New Year’s resolution you can easily keep, and get your hearing tested.
Why Should You Get Your Hearing Tested?
You may think your hearing loss isn’t too bad, or that you’re only missing out on the odd sound here and there. The fact of the matter is that you probably have far more hearing loss than you think. Your brain is an amazing organ, and as your hearing changes bit by bit, your brain makes accommodations to help you hear. You adjust to your hearing loss, and may not notice just how bad your hearing loss really is. Your family and friends will probably understand the full extent of your hearing loss better than you can, and they’ll point out all the sounds you’re not hearing, like the birds chirping outside, the sound of the stove timer, or your spouse speaking to you from another room.
Getting your hearing tested is the only way to maintain your hearing health. Even if you don’t think your hearing loss is very severe, having a hearing test will show you exactly what you can and can’t hear, and help you closely monitor your hearing abilities.
Who Should Get a Hearing Test?
Can you remember the last time you had your hearing tested? Most children have a hearing screening in school, but if that’s the last time anyone has looked at your ears, you need to get a hearing test as soon as possible. Adults should get a baseline hearing test in their early 20s to discover their unique hearing profile. After that, you only need a hearing test every few years, or whenever you notice any changes to your hearing. Hearing loss is more common as you age, since your ears experience a lot of wear and tear throughout life. For adults over the age of 50, it’s recommended you get a hearing test every two years, and seniors over the age of 65 should get a hearing test every year.
Baseline Hearing Test
The first hearing test you should take, even if you don’ think you have hearing loss, is a baseline hearing test. You should take this test in your early 20s, but if you’ve never had a baseline test, do it now! A baseline hearing test will give you an accurate picture of your current hearing abilities, and a point of reference for hearing tests you’ll take in the future. Baseline tests will show your sensitivity to sounds, and you’ll indicate if you can hear a series of beeps played at various pitches. Baseline tests will also look at your ability to hear speech, both at a very soft volume and at normal conversational levels. This test will make it easy to track changes in your hearing and speech understanding, and at subsequent hearing tests you’ll be able to see exactly how your hearing has changed.
During a baseline hearing test, the overall health of your ear will also be examined, and the hearing health specialist will make sure your ears looks healthy.
Comprehensive Hearing Test
If you’re at high risk of hearing loss, from a noisy profession or hobby, or if you’re over the age of 65, you should have a comprehensive hearing test every year. During a hearing test, you’ll be asked to listen to a series of beeps, and all you have to do is indicate when you’ve heard a sound. Your hearing will be tested in a range of pitches and volumes, and these results will be compared to your baseline test, so any hearing loss will be easily identified.
Pacific Northwest Audiology
Many adults wait far too long before testing their hearing, and live with hearing loss for several years before seeking treatment. Don’t fall into this trap, but make a New Year’s resolution to get your hearing tested, and take charge or your hearing health. Call us today at Pacific Northwest Audiology to schedule your hearing test.