Updated 05 October 2021
Originally published 22 February 2021
Don’t Forget Your Annual Hearing Test
Have you ever wondered, “How often should I get my hearing tested?” Read on to find the answers from our hearing aid experts. Alternatively, watch our video about the importance of an annual hearing test and start looking after your hearing health with Hearing Group.
Hearing Group’s hearing professionals recommend annual hearing tests for all patients. However, if you wear hearing aids, a yearly hearing test is even more essential. Getting your hearing tested by a hearing healthcare professional should be the same as going to the eye doctor or dentist – you should do it regularly. Just like you would get a new prescription for your glasses every year, we need to program any further hearing loss into your hearing aids every year.
Annual Hearing Tests Can Catch Changes in Hearing Loss
Unfortunately, hearing loss does worsen over time, so your hearing ability can change from year to year. Frequent exposure to loud noises, illness, injury, or even medications can worsen your hearing loss, so it’s essential to test it annually. Your hearing instrument’s efficiency can change over time too. Therefore, you might want to look into updating your current hearing aids.
When you come in for your annual hearing test, our hearing professionals will reprogram your hearing aids and might need to change the gain in the receiver. The receiver can adjust the strength or power of the hearing aid. The tip/dome can make a difference with the acoustics of the hearing aid and might also need to be changed. Unfortunately, we can’t know about these things or fix them unless we see you and your hearing aids.
When you come in for your hearing check, we can see if your hearing loss has changed, and we can also make sure that your hearing aids are working correctly during the appointment.
With regular visits to one of our nine hearing aid centers throughout Oklahoma and Kansas, we can look after your hearing health together.
Signs That Your Hearing Is Worsening
There are signs that patients usually start to notice in their own environments that signal their hearing is getting worse. Turning the TV up louder and louder or frequently asking people to repeat themselves are good indicators. Patients might also be misunderstanding words now more than they were or feeling as though their hearing aids aren’t working as well as they used to. We always let our patients know when they first come to us that we’d like to test their hearing every year to keep track of any changes.
Word Recognition/Speech Discrimination
We’ll also keep an eye on word recognition/speech discrimination. Your word recognition score is one of the most important things we monitor. Word recognition is testing to determine how your brain understands speech. This score can fall over time, and it’s vital to keep it as high as possible. If we start noticing a falling trend, it could be that the hearing aids aren’t programmed correctly or that your hearing loss has changed and we need to make adjustments. It could also be a medical issue that you’ll need to have checked out.
One of our main goals, when you come in to see us, is to keep your speech understanding from declining. If we can’t, we will continuously feed the signal to the brain as much as possible to drastically slow the decline. The more you can understand, the better you’ll be able to enjoy life.
Find out everything you need to know about the hearing test process. From the different types of testing to understanding and explaining your results, our experts have you covered.
Also, watch the video below for more information about why an annual hearing test is important.