When is it time to get a hearing exam? Here are four indicators that you should get your hearing tested.
I guess my TV is regularly cranked up to the point where my kids recently complained. You know what my response was? I said, “What”? It was a joke. I thought it was amusing. But, in reality, it was anything but funny. I have needed to turn the TV up louder and louder lately. And I started to ask myself: should I get a hearing test?
It really doesn’t make much sense to neglect getting a hearing assessment. They aren’t invasive, there’s no radiation, you don’t need to worry about discomfort. It’s really just that you haven’t made time for it.
You should really be more diligent about keeping track of your hearing because, if left untreated, it can affect your overall health.
Hearing assessments are important for many reasons. It’s often challenging for you to identify the earliest signs of hearing loss without one, and even mild hearing loss can impact your health.
So when should you get a hearing test? Here are some signs that it’s time.
Signs you should have your hearing tested
If you’ve recently encountered any of the symptoms of hearing loss, it’s definitely a good idea to get a professional hearing screening. Clearly, it’s a strong indication of hearing loss if you’re having a hard time hearing.
But that’s not the only symptom, and there are some signs of hearing loss that are far less obvious:
- Ringing that won’t go away: A typical sign of damaged hearing is a ringing in the ears, also known as tinnitus. If you’re dealing with some ringing that won’t go away, it might or might not be a sign of hearing loss. But if the ringing won’t go away, you should absolutely come see us for a hearing evaluation.
- It seems like people are mumbling when they talk: Often, it’s clarity not volume you need to be concerned about. One of the earlier signs of hearing loss is difficulty following conversations. If you experience this happening more often, you might want to schedule a hearing exam.
- You always miss alerts for text messages: Your cellphone (or mobile device, as they’re called now) is designed to be loud. So if you keep finding text messages or calls that you missed, it’s probably because you didn’t hear them. And maybe, when you think about it, you’re failing to hear more common sounds.
- You have a difficult time hearing when you’re in a loud setting: Have you ever had a hard time following along with conversations because of ambient noise in a crowded room? That could actually be a sign of hearing loss. Being able to isolate sounds is one sign of a healthy ear; this ability tends to decline as hearing loss advances.
Here are a few other circumstances that show you should make an appointment for a hearing exam:
- It’s difficult to pinpoint the origin of sounds
- You have vertigo
- Your ears are not clearing earwax completely
- You take certain medications that can harm your hearing
- you’re experiencing an ear infection and it won’t go away
This checklist, obviously, isn’t complete. There are other instances of warning signs (if, for instance, the volume on your TV is maxed out and you still want it to go just a little bit louder). It would be a good idea to follow up on any of these symptoms.
But how should you cope with it when you’re not sure if you have any symptoms of hearing loss. Is there a guideline for how frequently you should go get your hearing checked? With all of the other guidelines for everything, this one seems like a no-brainer. Well, yes, there are suggestions.
- Sometime after you turn 21, you need to have a hearing test. Then your mature hearing will have a baseline.
- Every three years or so will be a good schedule if your hearing seems healthy. But make sure you note these appointments in your calendar or medical records because it’s easy to forget over these large periods of time.
- If you show signs of hearing loss, you will want to get it tested right away, and then annually after that.
Routine examinations can help you identify hearing loss before any red flags develop. You will have a better chance of preserving your hearing over time the sooner you get checked. Which means, you should probably turn your TV down and schedule a hearing examination.