itchy ears being checked by doctor
itchy ears being checked by a doctor

Why Everyone 50+ Should Get an Annual Hearing Exam

While many of us conscientiously schedule annual health appointments with our primary care doctor and dentist, we often overlook our annual hearing exam. This significantly contributes to the widespread underdiagnosis of hearing loss, currently ranked as the third most common chronic health condition.

Surprisingly, over 48 million people are affected by hearing loss, yet only one-third of them seek treatment for the condition. It is crucial to recognize that having your hearing assessed annually is among the most effective preventive measures to safeguard your auditory well-being.

Read further to explore the advantages of consistent hearing tests for your overall health and well-being, the significance of detecting hearing loss early and how often you should get your ears checked.

What an Annual Hearings Exam Can Help With

Regular hearing tests offer a range of benefits that extend beyond the obvious improvement in auditory capabilities. Consider the following reasons why incorporating routine hearing assessments into your healthcare routine is essential:

Preserving Cognitive Function

Early detection and treatment of hearing loss may reduce the risk of cognitive decline. Addressing hearing issues promptly can prevent potential effects on the brain’s sound processing, contributing to overall cognitive health.

Enhancing Medical Condition Awareness

Hearing tests can identify pre-existing conditions and alert you to associated medical issues. For instance, recognizing and treating health problems like high blood pressure linked to tinnitus can alleviate hearing issues and prevent future damage to the ear structures.

Preventing Further Hearing Loss

Early diagnosis and intervention by an audiologist can prevent additional hearing loss. Timely treatment addresses problems at their inception, possibly avoiding long-term and permanent damage to your hearing.

Monitoring Hearing Changes Over Time

Routine hearing tests enable monitoring of subtle changes in hearing levels over time. Changes that may be challenging to notice on your own can be identified and addressed by your audiologist during regular assessments.

Adapting to Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle alterations, such as retirement or new hobbies, can impact your listening environment. Adjusting settings on hearing aids or implants during regular tests helps you adapt to new circumstances and protect your hearing in changing environments.

Reducing Emotional Impact

Untreated hearing loss can have a negative impact on interpersonal communication. Regular hearing tests mitigate distress, frustration, anger, embarrassment and other emotional challenges associated with untreated hearing impairment.

Incorporating these routine assessments into your overall healthcare regimen ensures not only improved hearing but also contributes to your cognitive, emotional and overall well-being. Regular check-ups with your hearing care provider empower you to proactively manage your hearing health and enjoy a more fulfilling and connected life.

Ideal Hearing Test Schedule for Adults

The frequency of hearing tests varies based on factors such as age, overall health and exposure to potential risk factors like loud noises. Knowing the recommended timelines for hearing evaluations empowers you to manage your hearing health proactively and seek timely intervention when necessary.

  • For most adults, it’s suggested to undergo a baseline hearing test between the ages of 18-25, even if there are no apparent hearing issues. This initial assessment acts as a reference point for future tests and aids in identifying early signs of hearing loss.
  • Once a baseline is established, it’s generally recommended to have hearing tests every three to five years until around the age of 50.
  • Individuals aged 60 and older are advised to undergo annual hearing exams, irrespective of symptoms.
  • For those at risk of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), attending yearly hearing tests is highly recommended, regardless of age.

Understanding and following these guidelines ensures a proactive approach to maintaining optimal hearing health.

Significance of Detecting Hearing Loss Early

Hearing loss is a prevalent issue that often doesn’t get the attention it deserves. When slight changes in hearing occur, they are sometimes brushed off as part of the natural aging process. This causes many individuals to overlook the need for intervention.

Unfortunately, neglecting to address hearing loss in its initial stages can lead to various adverse outcomes. Individuals dealing with hearing loss often face communication challenges, both personally and professionally. Then this may result in feelings of:

  • Isolation
  • Depression
  • Withdrawal from social interactions
  • Concerns about job performance

Early identification and intervention play a crucial role in lessening the impact of hearing loss on overall quality of life. Regular hearing tests are invaluable for detecting subtle changes in hearing abilities, allowing for timely and effective treatment.

These interventions significantly enhance one’s ability to engage in conversations, enjoy social interactions and maintain an active and independent lifestyle. Recognizing the importance of addressing hearing loss promptly is vital — prioritizing auditory health leads to a more fulfilling and connected life.

Hearing Technology — It’s More Than Hearing Aids

One of the things that our patients love about today’s technology is that it’s not limited to hearing aids. Thanks to the advent of smartphones and the prevalence of Bluetooth technology, digital hearing aids contain a level of flexibility that enables the wearer to stream audio directly from TVs, tablets and computers, phones and more directly to their devices.

There are even accessories — like wireless streamers, microphones, and applications — that give wearers even greater ability to personalize their sound experiences. Long gone are the days when attending a get together with loved ones is a difficult or isolating experience. You can be right at the center of the action just as you want to be, but it all starts with that hearing test.

Ready to take control of your hearing health? Reach out to your local Beltone office today.

senior man in green sweater looking at cell phone

Take Online Hearing Test

Take our free at-home hearing loss test as a first step on your journey to better hearing.

Beltone HCP handing senior man hearing aids in charging case

Book Your Free Appointment

Schedule a free hearing screening and discover the hearing aid that’s a perfect fit for you.