Hearing tests are one of the things that people often forget to go for or keep putting off. It's not usually because people are scared of a hearing test as they might be of going to the dentist, and it's not like with sight loss where it can become extremely obvious that you're struggling to see your computer or read road signs. Hearing loss is something that happens over time and can be very gradual, so much so that you might not even notice it, which means there is nothing to prompt you to go for a hearing test.

Loss of hearing can creep up on you, so it's essential to be aware of yourself and your actions. For example, if you are having to put the volume up on the television more than usual, don't just assume it's your TV aging, it could be your hearing. If you find yourself asking people to repeat themselves or speak up more often; you think people are mumbling when they never did before, or you're finding it harder to hear people when there is background noise – then these are all signs that your hearing could be deteriorating.

There is no need to panic, but if you have noticed any of these things, then it's time to go for a hearing test.

More obvious signs like a sudden change or decrease in your hearing ability should prompt you to go and see an audiologist as soon as you can, but again there is no need to panic as it could be something like earwax build-up or an ear infection, but it's essential to go and find out.

Now then, if there are no signs like this, it's still important to go and have your hearing tested as a preventative measure. While there are no official guidelines which say how often you should get a hearing test, it is generally advised that unless you have symptoms as mentioned above, then you should go every three years after the age of 50 and every ten years before that.

There are other reasons though that you might want to increase how often you get a hearing test and these reasons relate to your lifestyle. For example, if you are exposed to noisy environments regularly, you are more at risk of experiencing hearing loss and should go and get your hearing tested more frequently.

Noise-induced hearing loss affects people of all ages and can happen at any time, so if you are frequently exposed to loud noises, you have a higher risk of experiencing permanent damage to your hearing. If you work in a noisy environment such as construction or manufacturing; if you are a musician, an ambulance driver or work for an airline or at an airport, then you really should get your hearing checked annually. Even if it's not a job, but you regularly participate in noisy activities such as going to music concerts or riding motorcycles, then it's essential to take extra care of your ears and have your hearing checked once a year.

Why else might you want to get your hearing tested more regularly?

Quite an easy way to answer this, if you can't remember the last time you had your hearing tested, then book in now. It's good to know where you're at and if there are any underlying problems you weren't aware of. Then you can either deal with them or begin to schedule hearing tests as often as the audiologist advises you to.

Having a family history of hearing loss is another reason you might want to get your hearing tested more regularly as it could be something that might affect you too. Some medications can affect your hearing, so make sure you know the side effects of any medication you are on and make a point to get your hearing tested if you need to.

You can experience hearing loss at any time during your life, and while noise exposure and aging are two of the most common causes, there are more. With both of these causes, though, hearing loss is something that can either build up slowly or come on suddenly, so it's good to be aware and be preventative where you can by caring for your ears and wearing earplugs when necessary. If you already experience hearing loss and wear hearing aids, you still need to have your hearing regularly tested too.

To learn more about Arkansas Professional Hearing Care, call at (501) 588-0177