When was the last time you had your vision checked? Your teeth? Your heart? What about your hearing?
In our routine check-ups, we often forget to have our hearing checked! Hearing loss, much like eyesight, often diminishes slowly over time. Gradual changes are difficult to detect because our brains are good at compensating. It is important to have routine hearing checks, to ensure we aren’t missing an early hearing loss. The American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) recommends:
Newborns and infants:
Hospitals will screen a baby’s hearing shortly after birth. This test is simple and automatic —they don’t require the baby to give any sort of response!
Children and Adults:
Most children complete hearing screenings every few years in school. Hearing should continue to be screened about every 10 years up until the age of 50.
People over the age of 50:
Age-related hearing loss is very common. It primarily results in a high-pitch hearing loss, which can cause speech to sound unclear. ASHA recommends a hearing test every 3 years for this age group, and annually if a hearing loss is diagnosed.
People who already have hearing aids:
Though it may seem counterproductive, those who have already been diagnosed with hearing loss and have hearing aids should have a hearing test annually. Any changes in hearing may require programming changes to ensure the hearing aids are properly fit for maximum benefit.