When is it time to get a hearing exam? Here are four indicators that you should have your hearing assessed.
Recently, my kids complained about how loud my television was. Do you know what I said to them? I said, “What”? It was a joke. I thought it was funny. But it also wasn’t. The TV has been getting louder and louder. And I began to wonder: should I have my hearing tested?
There aren’t really that many excuses not to make an appointment for a hearing test. Hearing tests don’t cause you any discomfort, they’re non-invasive, and there isn’t any radiation. It’s really just that you haven’t put aside time to do it.
You should really be more vigilant about keeping track of your hearing because, if left unchecked, it can impact your general health.
There are a lot of good reasons why hearing evaluations are important. It’s often challenging for you to discover the earliest signs of hearing loss without one, and even slight hearing loss can affect your health.
So how will you know if you should make an appointment? Here are several ways to tell if you need to come see us.
Signs you should get a hearing test
If you’ve recently observed any of the signs of hearing loss, it’s definitely a smart idea to get a professional hearing screening. Naturally, if things are difficult to hear, that’s a pretty solid indication of hearing loss.
But some of the other indications of hearing loss are more subtle:
- It sounds like everybody’s mumbling all the time: 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 trouble following conversations. If you notice this happening more often, you may want to make an appointment for a hearing test.
- It’s hard to hear in noisy places: Have you ever had a difficult time keeping up with conversations because of background noise in a crowded room? That could actually be a sign of hearing loss. Being able to identify sounds is one indication of healthy hearing; this ability tends to diminish as hearing loss worsens.
- You don’t always hear alerts for text messages: Your cellphone (or mobile device, as they’re called these days) is made to be loud. So if you’re continuously missing calls or text messages, it may be because you aren’t hearing them. And if you can’t hear your mobile device, what else are you missing?
- Ringing that won’t subside: A typical sign of injured hearing is a ringing in the ears, also called tinnitus. Ringing in the ear might or might not indicate hearing loss. But it’s certainly an indication that you should get a hearing assessment.
Here are some other situations that indicate you should schedule a hearing exam:
- you’re experiencing an ear infection and it won’t clear up
- You take specific medications that can harm your hearing
- You have a buildup of ear wax you’re body can’t clear on your own
- It’s difficult to pinpoint the source of sounds
- You experience vertigo
This checklist, clearly, is not thorough. 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 louder). But any one of these symptoms is worth following up on.
But what if, to your awareness, you haven’t experienced any of these possible symptoms of hearing impairment? Is there a guideline for how frequently you should schedule a hearing exam? There’s a guideline for everything, right, so there’s got to be a guideline for this. There are, actually, some suggestions.
- Get a baseline assessment done sometime after you’re 21. That way, you’ll have a standard 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.
- You’ll want to get tested right away if you notice any signs of hearing loss and after that once a year.
Regular screenings can help you identify hearing loss before any red flags appear. The earlier you seek treatment, the better you’ll be able to preserve your hearing into the future. Which means, you should probably turn your TV down and make an appointment for a hearing assessment.