When should you get a hearing test? You need a hearing exam if you have any of these four warning signs.
Recently, my kids complained about how loud my television was. And guess what my reply was. I said, “What”? It was a joke. I thought it was amusing. But it also wasn’t. I have needed to turn the TV up increasingly louder lately. And that got me thinking that perhaps it’s time for a hearing assessment.
There aren’t really that many reasons not to make an appointment for a hearing exam. They’re not invasive, there’s no radiation, you don’t need to worry about discomfort. It’s really just that you haven’t put aside time to do it.
You should really be more vigilant about staying on top of your hearing because, if left unchecked, it can impact your overall health.
There are lots of good reasons why hearing evaluations are important. Even mild hearing loss can have an impact on your health and it’s virtually impossible to identify early hearing loss without a hearing assessment.
So how can you recognize if you should make an appointment? Here are a few ways to tell if you need to come see us.
Signs you should get a hearing test
If you’ve recently experienced any of the symptoms of hearing loss, it’s definitely a smart plan to get a professional hearing exam. Obviously, if things are hard to hear, that’s a pretty solid indication of hearing loss.
But that’s not the only indicator, and there are some signs of hearing impairment that are much less obvious:
- Chronic ringing in your ears: A common sign of injured hearing is a ringing in the ears, also known as tinnitus. Ringing in the ear may or may not indicate hearing loss. But it’s certainly an indication that you should schedule a hearing test.
- You’re always missing text messages: Your phone (or mobile device, as they’re called these days) is designed to be loud. So if you’re constantly missing calls or text messages, it might be because you can’t hear them. And perhaps, when you think about it, you’re missing out on more common sounds.
- You have a hard time hearing when you’re in a noisy setting: Have you ever been to a busy or noisy space and had difficulty hearing the conversation because of all the ambient noise? That may actually be an indication of hearing loss. Being able to identify sounds is one sign of healthy hearing; this ability tends to wane as hearing loss worsens.
- It seems like people are mumbling when they talk: Sometimes, it’s not loss of volume you have to worry about, it’s a loss of distinction. Trouble making out conversations is one of the first signs that something is going wrong with your hearing. It might be time for a hearing screening if you notice this occurring more and more often.
Here are several other situations that indicate you should schedule a hearing screening:
- Your ears are not removing earwax thoroughly
- you’re experiencing an ear infection and it won’t clear up
- You’re experiencing episodes of vertigo
- You frequently use certain medications that are known to have an effect on your hearing.
- You can’t readily detect where particular sounds are originating
This list, clearly, is not thorough. There are other examples of red flags (if, for example, the volume on your TV is maxed out and you still wish it could go just a little bit louder). But any one of these signs is worth looking into.
But what if, to your awareness, you haven’t encountered any of these potential signs of hearing impairment? Is there a guideline for how often you should schedule a hearing exam? With all of the other guidelines for everything else, this one seems like a no-brainer. There are, actually, some suggestions.
- Get a primary test done sometime after you’re 21. Then your mature hearing will have a baseline.
- Every three years or so will be a good schedule if your hearing seems normal. That can be a huge chunk of time to pay attention to, so make sure they’re noted in your medical records somewhere.
- If you notice signs of hearing loss, you will want to have it tested right away, and then annually after that.
Routine screenings can help you discover hearing loss before any red flags surface. The earlier you seek treatment, the better you’ll be able to protect your hearing into the future. Which means, you should probably turn your TV down and schedule a hearing assessment.