When should you get a hearing test? You need a hearing exam if you have any of these four signs.
I guess my TV is frequently cranked up to the point where my kids recently complained. You know what I said to them? I said, “What”? It was a joke. I thought it was amusing. But it also wasn’t. The TV has been getting louder and louder. And I began to ask myself: should I have my hearing tested?
There aren’t really that many reasons not to schedule yourself for a hearing test. They aren’t invasive, there’s no radiation, you don’t have 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 unchecked, it can affect your general health.
There are lots of good reasons why hearing assessments are important. It’s often challenging for you to discover the earliest signs of hearing loss without one, and even mild hearing loss can affect your health.
So how will you know if you should make an appointment? Here are some indications that it’s time.
Signs you should get a hearing test
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 solid indication of hearing loss.
But that’s not the only symptom, and there are some signs of hearing impairment that are much less obvious:
- You don’t always hear alerts for text messages: Your phone (or mobile device, as they’re called these days) is made to be loud. So if you keep finding text messages or calls that you failed to hear, it’s probably because you didn’t hear them. And if you can’t hear your mobile device, what else are you missing?
- Ringing that won’t go away: A typical sign of injured hearing is a ringing in the ears, also called tinnitus. If you’re experiencing some ringing that won’t go away, it may or may not be a symptom of hearing loss. But if the ringing won’t stop, you should absolutely call us for a hearing assessment.
- It sounds like everybody’s always mumbling: In some cases, it’s not loss of volume you have to be concerned with, it’s a loss of definition. One of the first signs of hearing loss is difficulty following conversations. If you detect this happening more often, you might want to make an appointment for a hearing test.
- You have a hard time hearing when you’re in a noisy setting: Have you ever had a hard time keeping up with conversations because of ambient noise in a crowded room? If this sounds familiar you could be developing hearing loss. Being able to isolate sounds is one sign of a healthy ear; this ability tends to decline as hearing loss advances.
This list is not exhaustive, here are a few more:
- you’re experiencing an ear infection and it won’t go away
- You experience vertigo
- It’s hard to pinpoint the source of sounds
- You have an accumulation of ear wax you’re body can’t clear by itself
- You take certain medications that can damage your hearing
This checklist is certainly not exhaustive. There are other examples of red flags (if, for instance, the volume on your TV is maxed out and you still want it to go just a little bit louder). But any one of these symptoms is worth following up on.
But what if, to your knowledge, you haven’t encountered any of these potential signs of hearing loss? Is there a guideline for how frequently you should schedule a hearing exam? There’s a guideline for everything else, right, so there’s got to be a guideline for this. Well, yes, there are suggestions.
- Get a primary exam done sometime after you’re 21. Then your mature hearing will have a baseline.
- Every three years or so will be a practical schedule if your hearing seems normal. That can be a huge chunk of time to pay attention to, so make sure they’re marked in your medical records somewhere.
- If you show signs of hearing loss, you will want to get it assessed immediately, and then annually after that.
Routine examinations can help you detect hearing loss before any red flags develop. You will have a better chance of preserving your hearing over time the sooner you get tested. Which means, you should probably turn down your TV and schedule a hearing examination.