Throughout your life, you should get regular hearing tests as a routine part of your healthcare. This is because it can be hard for you to detect changes in your ability to hear over time. Many patients adapt to slight hearing loss by turning up the volume on their TVs or asking people to repeat themselves. Dealing with hearing loss as soon as it occurs is the best strategy long-term. So that’s why audiologists recommend that you include hearing tests as part of your checkup routine. But how often should you go to the audiologist? The answer to that question depends both on the current state of your hearing and your age. Many times, you won’t notice hearing loss until it becomes more pronounced. By that stage, you may have developed other conditions, such as tinnitus, which detract from your quality of life.

Adults Ages 18-40

Adults aged 18 to 40 who don’t have any problems with their hearing should get their hearing tested every three to five years. Hearing loss in patients in this age group is rare, except in special circumstances, such as when there are other diseases present or the individual has been exposed to loud noises.

Adults Over 60

Adults over the age of 60 should get their hearing tested once per year. That’s because once people reach the age of 60, the risk of hearing loss increases dramatically. The inner ear begins to age, and it becomes harder for it to differentiate between sounds of different frequencies. Data suggests that around a third of individuals experience age-related hearing loss by age 60 and around half by age 75. If you are in this age group, you should not wait to develop symptoms before going for a hearing test. Instead, you should agree to an annual schedule of checkups with your audiologist.

Adults Exposed to Loud Noises

Some adults work in industries which expose them to loud noises. DJs, construction workers, musicians, police, military personnel and people who ride motorcycles are all at risk. In these cases, professionals recommend that you get your hearing tested once per year. Loud noises can accelerate age-related damage to the structures in the ear, causing hearing loss to occur more rapidly.

Adults with Existing Hearing Loss

Finally, adults with existing hearing loss should also get their hearing tested at least once per year. That’s because the purpose of testing is to both detect and track the rate of progress of the condition. Hearing loss can be stable, but it can also deteriorate. Your level of hearing loss will determine the type of treatment that you need. If your hearing loss becomes more profound, you may need more powerful hearing aids.