When is it time to get a hearing exam? Here are four signs that you should have your hearing tested.
The other day, my kids complained about how loud my TV was. Do you know what my response was? I said, “What”? It was humorous. Because it was a joke. But it also wasn’t. I have needed to turn the TV up increasingly louder lately. And that got me thinking that perhaps it’s time for a hearing assessment.
There aren’t all that many excuses not to make an appointment for a hearing exam. They aren’t invasive, there’s no radiation, you don’t have to worry about discomfort. It’s really just that you haven’t put aside time to do it.
Considering how much untreated hearing loss can affect your health, you really should be more vigilant about making sure your hearing impairment hasn’t gotten worse.
There are a lot of good reasons why hearing evaluations are essential. Even slight hearing loss can have an affect on your health and it’s virtually impossible to recognize early hearing loss without a hearing examination.
So how will you know if you should schedule an appointment? Here are some clues that it’s time.
Signs you should get a hearing test
It’s time to get a professional hearing test if you’ve been noticing symptoms of hearing loss recently. Clearly, it’s a strong indication of hearing loss if you’re having a difficult time hearing.
But some of the other indications of hearing loss are more subtle:
- It’s tough to hear in noisy places: Have you ever been to a crowded or noisy space and had difficulty following the conversation because of all the ambient noise? That could actually be an indication of hearing loss. As your hearing progresses from healthy to impaired, one of the first warning signs is the loss of the ability to identify distinct sounds.
- It sounds like everyone’s always mumbling: Sometimes, it’s not loss of volume you need to be concerned with, it’s a loss of distinction. One of the earlier indications of hearing loss is difficulty making out conversations. If you notice this happening more and more, you might want to make an appointment for a hearing test.
- You’re always missing text messages: Your phone (or mobile device, as they’re called now) is made to be loud. 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.
- Persistent ringing in your ears: Ringing in your ears, which goes by the name of tinnitus, is frequently a symptom of hearing damage. If you’re experiencing some ringing that won’t go away, it might or might not be a symptom of hearing loss. But it’s certainly a sign that you should get a hearing assessment.
Here are a few other situations that indicate you should make an appointment for a hearing screening:
- Your ear hasn’t cleared after an ear infection
- You take specific medications that can harm your hearing
- You can’t readily identify where particular sounds are coming from
- You’re experiencing episodes of vertigo
- Your ears are not removing earwax completely
This checklist is certainly not 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 looking into.
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 often 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, in fact, some recommendations.
- Get a baseline test done sometime after you’re 21. Then your mature hearing will have a standard.
- If your hearing is normal, have hearing screenings or tests every three years or so. That can be a long time to pay attention to, so make sure they’re noted in your medical records somewhere.
- You’ll want to get tested immediately if you notice any signs of hearing loss and after that once a year.
Regular screenings can help you detect hearing loss before any red flags surface. You will have a better chance of preserving your hearing over time the sooner you get checked. So it’s time to give us a call and schedule a hearing test.