A hearing test is no doubt very useful for those who have even a small doubt about the veracity of their hearing. If you have a nagging feeling that one or both of your ears may have a problem, start asking yourself; “How often should I get a hearing test?”.
There are some variables that affect your hearing that you may not be aware of. The ones you do know about, such as loud headphones, loud machines at work, rock concerts and the like are all pretty much self-evident. The ones that are not self-evident are interesting and this is when a hearing test may help to uncover a potential hearing loss concern.
Start with your annual physical
It is definitely important to get yearly physical examinations from your primary care physician, during which they should examine your ears. If you are otherwise healthy and have no particular hearing complaints, then it is probably not necessary to have an audiogram (hearing test) performed. However, in order to address this question completely, you should see a physician who can take a thorough audiologic history…for instance, why did you have your hearing tested when you were 10? Is there a history of recurrent ear infections, history of ear surgery, etc.? Hearing tests are not typically performed routinely (without specific hearing or other otologic complaints) until the later stages in life. Thus, if you don’t have specific complaints, you most likely don’t need a hearing test other than what would normally be performed during your annual health screening. However, it’s still a good idea to use proper ear protection in any situation where there is a potential for noise abuse. While hearing aides have improved significantly over the past few years, there is still no way to reverse the permanent damage caused from traumatic noise exposure.