Hearing tests are rarely seen as part and parcel of standard ‘good health’ maintenance. However, these tests are an invaluable tool that can provide important, detailed information, so it is well worth considering whether undergoing a hearing test might be the right choice for you.

The need for regular hearing tests

It is generally recommended that those over the age of 60 should undergo a hearing test every 12 months, even if they do not have any of the signs of hearing loss. So, if you are over the age of 60 and have not undergone a hearing test in the last year, then: yes, it is best to contact your audiologist and arrange a hearing test as soon as possible.

However, it’s important to note that you do not need to wait for your annual check-up to arrive. If you are experiencing any of the signs of hearing loss, then arranging a hearing test as soon as possible is advisable – even if your last test was only a few months ago.

The signs of hearing loss

Regardless of your age, date of your late hearing test, or your overall health, if you notice any of the signs of hearing loss, it is strongly advised that you get a hearing test as soon as possible. Here’s what you need to look out for:

  • You find that you have to constantly ask people to repeat themselves during conversations, or are straining to hear
  • You experience tiredness or fatigue after long conversations, and particularly after long conversations on the telephone
  • You have noticed that you seem to require the volume of your TV or radio to be turned up higher
  • You are experiencing tinnitus, a condition that involves hearing sounds that are not actually there
  • You are noticing that sounds are often muffled rather than crisp and clear

Alternative reasons you may need a hearing test

While hearing loss is predominantly seen as an age-related issue, the condition can occur at any age, and particularly if one of the following applies to you:

  • You are experiencing any of the signs of hearing loss as listed above
  • You work in a noisy environment – for example, in a call center or on a construction site
  • You live next to a busy road; heavy traffic can exceed 85 decibels, which is the threshold at which hearing damage can occur
  • You regularly attend concerts or music gigs; concerts, for example, can reach 120 decibels

If any of the above is true, regardless of age, a hearing test should be performed.

Above, we have sought to focus on the groups of people for whom a hearing test is highly recommended. However, it’s important to note that there is no hard and fast rule regarding who should have a hearing test.

If you have reason to suspect that you are experiencing hearing loss – even if none of the above scenarios apply to you – then it is still best to visit an audiologist for a hearing test to discuss your concerns, and at the very least, provide you with valuable peace of mind.