Many of us are aware of our hearing quality declining in later years, but not many of us know how often to get a hearing test. At what age do we begin to test our ears? The factors vary, including hereditary hearing loss and other medical conditions.

It is known that healthy adults should have their hearing tested every three to five years. For children, this number is longer, but childhood testing is important to get ahead of any issues. This information is stated in The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's (ASHA) guidelines. Any type of concern regarding your hearing should be flagged up immediately with an audiologist, who can run through the protocol for this type of concern. 

Do I need a hearing test?

When you book your first hearing test, it may be the first time in your life. Therefore, you must be aware of what will happen. If you are taking a hearing test because you are concerned about the crispness of your hearing, then you must be aware that there are options to assist. Hearing aids are an incredibly common solution, and a hearing test will be able to determine what is going to be best for you. 

A hearing test is designed to test hearing ability. To be able to hear, the ear can do three actions: absorb the sound waves, translate them into electrical signals and transmit the electrical signals to the brain. This is where they are decoded into sounds. The outer ear includes the ear canal and the auditory canal. The earpiece is a kind of funnel that picks up sound waves from the environment and transmits them to the auditory canal.

In the middle ear, sound waves vibrate the eardrum and auditory bones, and these vibrations are transmitted to the auditory organ located in the inner ear in a structure called a cochlea. If you have never had a hearing test before in your life, your audiologist will talk you through it. If this is not your first hearing test and is one of your regular checkups, it is also important to speak to your audiologist about any changes in your hearing. Such as the inability to catch lower frequency sounds. 

The most common issue for people with hearing loss is most commonly their age. That is why, it is vital to be checked, even if you never have before. If someone close to you believes that you should get your hearing checked, it is wise to take their advice. It is a painless and easy test that is quick. Your audiologist can test the frequencies.

Volume is measured in decibels (dB). A whisper is at a volume of 20 decibels; loud music, for example in performance, is around 80 decibels; An aircraft engine produces noise at 140-180 decibels. Exposure to sounds above 85 decibels for several hours can impair hearing. A louder sound can immediately cause ear pain and hearing loss.

Frequency is measured in Hertz (Hz) – the number of cycles per second. Low bass sounds are in the range of 60-50 Hz. A high shriek or beep can reach 10,000 Hz and above. The human hearing range is between 20,000 and 20,000 Hz. Some animals can hear up to a frequency of 50,000 Hz. Human speech is usually between 500 and 3,000 Hz. 

When Is a Hearing Test Needed? 

As we have already said, every three to five years is best. If you have a known condition, then yearly is best, just as you do eye tests. However, there are also some telltale signs to be aware of. A hearing test is there to assess whether there is a hearing loss in subjects who report a hearing impairment in one or both ears. It is also to assess the type of hearing impairment and its severity.

If you have a job that is particularly damaging to the ears – dealing with loud noises – you should also be checked every year. If you are taking medications that can impair their hearing, such as the antibiotic gentamicin, you should also have more frequent hearing checks. Is there a need for pre-test preparation? No preparation is required. 

Does My Child Need a Hearing Test?

It is best to have your child’s hearing tested in their early life to identify any problems. However, if your child seems to be struggling with hearing, then it is wise to have them checked. Your audiologist can assess your child’s hearing. As part of a screening test for infants and children to diagnose hearing loss. Such impairment may impair the child's ability to acquire language and develop. 

For more information on how you can book your next hearing test with a friendly and professional team, please contact Quality Hearing Aid Center and call us today at (248) 430-8791.