When is it time to get a hearing exam? Here are four indicators that you need to have your hearing tested.
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 funny. But it also wasn’t. I have needed to turn the TV up louder and louder lately. And I started to wonder: 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 isn’t any radiation. You’ve most likely just been putting it off.
Considering how much neglected hearing loss can affect your health, you really should be more vigilant about making sure your hearing loss hasn’t worsened.
Hearing assessments are essential for a wide variety of reasons. Even slight hearing loss can have an impact on your health and it’s almost impossible to recognize early hearing loss without a hearing examination.
So when should you have a hearing test? Here are a few ways to tell if you need to consult with us.
Signs you should get a hearing test
It’s time to get a professional hearing assessment if you’ve been experiencing symptoms of hearing loss recently. Clearly, it’s a powerful indication of hearing loss if you’re having a difficult time hearing.
But some of the other indications of hearing loss are more subtle:
- You always miss alerts for text messages: Mobile devices are made to be loud enough for you to be able to hear. So if you keep finding text messages or calls that you missed, it’s most likely because you didn’t hear them. And maybe, when you think about it, you’re missing out on more common sounds.
- It sounds like everybody’s mumbling all the time: Sometimes, it’s not loss of volume you need to be concerned with, it’s a loss of definition. One of the earlier 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.
- Persistent ringing in your ears: A typical sign of damaged hearing is a ringing in the ears, also called tinnitus. Ringing in the ear may or may not indicate hearing loss. But if the ringing won’t go away, you should absolutely call us for a hearing evaluation.
- You have a difficult time hearing when you’re in a loud environment: Have you ever been to a crowded or loud space and had difficulty following the conversation because of all the ambient noise? If this sounds familiar you could be developing hearing loss. Being able to identify sounds is one indication of healthy hearing; this ability tends to diminish as hearing loss advances.
Here are some other circumstances that show you should schedule a hearing evaluation:
- you’re experiencing an ear infection and it won’t clear up
- You take specific medications that can harm your hearing
- You’re experiencing episodes of vertigo
- You can’t easily detect where particular sounds are originating
- You have an accumulation of ear wax you’re body can’t clear by itself
This list is by no means exhaustive. There are other instances of red flags (if, for instance, 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 symptoms is worth following up on.
But how should you deal with it when you’re not sure if you have any symptoms of hearing loss. 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 recommendations.
- Get a baseline exam done sometime after you’re 21. That way, you’ll have a baseline of your mature hearing.
- If your hearing is healthy, undergo hearing examinations or tests every three years or so. That can be a huge chunk of time to pay attention to, so make certain they’re noted in your medical records somewhere.
- If you notice signs of hearing loss, you will want to get it assessed immediately, and then annually after that.
It will be easier to discover any hearing loss before any warning signs become obvious with regular examinations. The earlier you seek treatment, the better you’ll be able to protect your hearing into the future. So it’s time to pick up the phone and make an appointment for a hearing assessment.