When is it time to have your hearing checked? You need a hearing exam if you have any of these four warning signs.
I guess my TV is frequently turned up to the point where my kids recently complained. And guess what I said. I said, “What”? It was humorous. Because it was a joke. But it also wasn’t. The TV has been getting progressively louder. And I began to ask myself: should I get a hearing test?
There aren’t really that many reasons not to make an appointment for a hearing test. Hearing assessments don’t cause you any discomfort, they’re non-invasive, and there’s no radiation. 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 impact your overall health.
Hearing assessments are important for a wide variety of reasons. It’s often hard for you to identify the earliest indications of hearing loss without one, and even mild hearing loss can affect your health.
So when should you have a hearing test? Here are some clues that it’s time.
You should get your hearing tested if you experience these signs
It’s time to get a professional hearing assessment if you’ve been noticing signs of hearing loss recently. Obviously, if things are hard to hear, that’s a pretty strong indication of hearing loss.
But that’s not the only indicator, and there are some signs of hearing loss that are far less apparent:
- Persistent ringing in your ears: Ringing in your ears, which is called tinnitus, is often a symptom of hearing damage. If you’re dealing with some ringing that won’t stop, it might or might not be a symptom of hearing loss. But if the ringing won’t stop, you should definitely call us for a hearing evaluation.
- It seems like people are mumbling when they talk: Sometimes, it’s not loss of volume you need to worry about, it’s a loss of distinction. One of the first signs of hearing loss is difficulty following conversations. It may be time for a hearing exam if you notice this happening more and more often.
- It’s difficult to hear in noisy places: Have you ever been to a crowded or noisy space and had difficulty hearing the conversation because of all the ambient noise? That could actually be an indication of hearing loss. Being able to isolate sounds is one sign of a healthy ear; this ability tends to diminish as hearing loss progresses.
- You’re always missing text messages: Mobile devices are made to be loud enough for you to be able to hear. So if you’re constantly missing calls or text messages, it might be because you aren’t hearing them. And if you can’t hear your mobile device, what else might you be missing?
Here are a few other circumstances that show you should schedule a hearing evaluation:
- You take specific medications that can damage your hearing
- You have an accumulation of ear wax you’re body can’t clear by itself
- you’re experiencing an ear infection and it won’t clear up
- You can’t easily determine where particular sounds are originating
- You’re experiencing episodes of vertigo
This list, obviously, is not extensive. There are other instances of warning signs (if, for instance, the volume on your TV is maxed out and you still wish it could go just a little bit louder). It would be a smart plan to follow up on any of these symptoms.
But what if, to your knowledge, you haven’t experienced any of these potential signs of hearing loss? So how frequently should you get your hearing tested? With all of the other guidelines for everything else, this one seems like a no-brainer. There are, actually, some suggestions.
- Sometime after you turn 21, you should have a hearing assessment. That way, you’ll have a baseline of your mature hearing.
- If your hearing is normal, undergo hearing screenings or tests every three years or so. But be 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 assessed right away, and then yearly after that.
It will be easier to discover any hearing loss before any warning signs become apparent with regular screenings. You will have a better chance of maintaining your hearing over time the sooner you get tested. Which means, you should probably turn your TV down and make an appointment for a hearing examination.