Many people don't think about getting their ears checked unless they notice problems. However, it would be a healthy choice to have regular ear checks, even when you feel okay. People typically consult an audiologist when they experience:

  • Hearing loss or strain to hear when conversing
  • Pain in the ears
  • Ringing inside the ears

But it's essential to take better care of your ears by using earplugs in noisy places, keeping them dry, not using cotton swabs and watching out for the signs of hearing loss..

Regular ear checks or visits to an audiologist depend on:

The health of your ears

If you have recently started straining to hear when conversing, you need to book an appointment soon. Possible causes of gradual hearing loss include ear infection, wax build-up, certain medications, age, illnesses, heredity and noise exposure for an extended period. Sudden loss of hearing can be caused by damage to the inner ear by a loud noise or taking certain medications. The audiologist may perform some tests and understand your medical and lifestyle history before concluding on the probable cause.

Your age

As you age, you may experience a degeneration of the inner ear. The process may be faster when periodically exposed to loud noises or suffer from ear infections. After the age of 21 or in your young adulthood, have at least one baseline test. If no ear or hearing problems are detected, you can have a repeat test after 10 years. When 50 years and above, aim to have the test done every three years, then annually when you hit 60.

The baseline hearing test checks your hearing strength and detects problems before they develop into significant issues. Having a baseline test when young gives the audiologist something to compare your hearing power with over the years as you go for regular checks. 

Your work conditions

If you work in a noisy place and are exposed to noise above 85 decibels, even if you are not yet 60, you should have your ears checked every two to three years.

Screening or testing

When you don't have any noticeable hearing loss symptoms, the audiologist performs a hearing screening. This is a simple, quick test to gauge your hearing strength and is done within a short duration. Testing is carried out after hearing problems or symptoms are detected, probably during the screening or a previous hearing test. When there is confirmed hearing loss, you may be required to have regular tests every six months or, as the audiologist suggests, together with an appropriate treatment plan.

When to have a screening

Babies usually get a hearing screening at birth, and then it's repeated several times when they start schooling. Probably that's the last screening most adults ever get until they develop hearing problems. However, it's essential to have regular screenings in your adulthood before you hit 50 years. The screenings can be used as a baseline to detect any hearing loss in old age.