When and how often you should have a hearing test depends on factors like your age, occupation and history of hearing issues.
Exposure to Loud Noise and Hearing Loss
If you are exposed to noise levels over 85 dB on a regular basis because of your job or hobby, you should get your hearing checked every few years, even if you don’t have symptoms of hearing loss.
A study of 623 construction workers who operate heavy machinery found that:
- Over 60% showed hearing loss at higher frequencies
- 38% reported a ringing or buzzing in the ear (tinnitus)
- 62% said they had difficulty understanding what people say in loud environments
- Hearing protection devices (HPDs) were worn only 48% of the time they were required to be used
- Those who used HPDs more frequently had better hearing than those who did not.
Other activities that may put you at an increased risk of noise-induced hearing loss include:
- Riding motorcycles and snowmobiles
- Attending rock concerts
- Listening to music at high volume through earbuds or headphones
- Mowing the lawn
- Using a leaf blower
Age Affects Hearing Health
If you are over 60 you should get a baseline hearing test and have it re-checked every few years. Age is one of the more common risk factors for hearing loss. It can come on gradually, so even if you don’t think you have a problem with your hearing, it’s important to get checked out as you get older.
Get Tested Now if You Have Signs of Hearing Loss
Regardless of your individual risk factors, if you have signs of hearing loss you should make an appointment for a hearing test as soon as possible. Signs can include:
- Family and friends have commented on your hearing or the volume when you watch TV or listen to music.
- You struggle to follow conversations in situations where there’s more background noise, like at your favorite local pub, Fire & Hops.
- You experience difficulty trying to hear other people on the phone.
- It feels like people are always mumbling or that you need them to repeat themselves often.
Your hearing health is an important part of your overall well-being. Take the necessary steps to prevent hearing loss and get tested regularly for peace of mind.
If you would like additional information or wish to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, contact Southwestern Hearing & Balance today.