The answer to this question will depend on your age, environment, and level of hearing loss, but people of all ages should be getting hearing screenings on a regular basis. Sometimes these screenings are done in a work or school environment, but often you will have to seek out a hearing care clinic to get a complete hearing evaluation.
General Guidelines for Hearing Test Frequency
Most people do not need to have their hearing tested every year. In general, a hearing test every three to four years is sufficient—but there are some exceptions, including the following:
- Infants and children. By law, babies born in hospitals in the United States are screened for hearing loss at birth. Babies with normal results will not have to be tested again until around the age of four. Children should be tested every year after that until they are eight or nine years old; after that, a test every other year is sufficient. Childhood hearing screenings are often given at school for free. If a child is found at any point to have hearing loss, he or she will be tested more frequently.
- Anyone exposed to loud noises. Noise-induced hearing loss can occur at any age, and is becoming more common among teens and young adults. People of any age who are exposed to loud noises at concerts, work, in the military, or even doing yardwork around the house should be tested for hearing loss annually.
- Hearing aid wearers. If you are diagnosed with hearing loss and begin wearing hearing aids, your testing days are not over! You should see your hearing aid provider every year for follow-up testing so that your hearing aids can be adjusted or new hearing aids can be fitted as needed.
- People over the age of 60. Age-related hearing loss can begin at any age, but is most common in people over the age of 60. In fact, one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 and half of all people 75 and older suffer from disabling hearing loss. The sooner the impairment is diagnosed, the less likely the older person is to suffer from hearing-loss related conditions such as dementia, depression, and social isolation.
There are other health conditions that warrant annual or semi-annual hearing tests, and these should be discussed with your doctor.
Collier Hearing Center Offers Free Hearing Screenings
If you have not had your hearing tested since you were a child, make an appointment for a free hearing evaluation at one of our Naples office locations. We will discuss your results with you and develop a plan to get you on the road to better hearing.