How Often Do You Need a Hearing Test?

Older man receives hearing test in Anchorage, AK

Even though hearing loss has been associated with concentration and memory problems, along with depression, a significant number of Americans rarely get their hearing tested. Hearing difficulties take a toll on personal relationships with family, friends, and co-workers and possibly may be linked to dementia.

In this blog post, we’ll describe some signs that you may be experiencing hearing loss. We’ll also explain why people should schedule an appointment with an audiologist in Anchorage to ensure their hearing is normal. May is Better Speech and Hearing Month, and it’s a good reminder for all of us—when was the last time you had your hearing screened?

When Should I Get My Hearing Tested?

People typically go to their doctors for annual checkups, and they see ophthalmologists for routine eye exams. But the number of people who get their hearing tested regularly is startlingly low. The results of a Consumer Reports survey of more than 120,000 members on hearing and hearing loss revealed that almost 30 percent said they’ve gone for more than a decade without getting their hearing tested or have never had it tested at all.

This lack of screening is important because many people—especially older adults—often don’t realize that they’re experiencing hearing loss. A study published in November 2019 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery found that older adults may be underestimating their level of hearing loss, which leads them to avoid getting their hearing tested in a timely manner. The researchers found that 42 percent of people who reported no hearing trouble actually turned out to have mild hearing loss when tested.

What Are Signs of Hearing Loss?

It can sometimes be hard for individuals to acknowledge they’re losing their hearing, which is one of the reasons hearing loss goes undetected. Another reason may be that people aren’t sure about the signs that may indicate hearing trouble. Here are some things that should prompt you or a loved one to schedule a hearing test:

  • Conversations sound muffled
  • It’s difficult to hear certain consonant sounds
  • It’s hard to hear in crowded settings
  • You ask people to speak more slowly or repeat what they’ve said
  • Phone conversations are difficult to hear

Even though we often associate hearing loss with older adults, hearing loss can be an issue for children, too. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 466 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss, and 34 million of these are children.

At ACENT, we offer advanced audiology services for people concerned about hearing loss—including The QuickSIN™ Speech-in-Noise Test that can quickly and easily measure a person’s ability to hear with background noise.

If you or a family member may be experiencing hearing loss and a hearing test is necessary, you can contact our audiology center in Anchorage to schedule a consultation. You can also give our office a call at (907) 279-8800 to set up an appointment.