When should you get a hearing test? You need a hearing exam if you have any of these four signs.
Recently, my kids complained about how loud my TV was. And guess what my reply was. I said, “What”? It was a joke. I thought it was amusing. But, in some ways, it was anything but funny. I have needed to turn the TV up louder and louder as of late. And I started to ask myself: should I have my hearing tested?
It really doesn’t make much sense to neglect getting a hearing assessment. Hearing tests 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 untreated hearing loss can affect your health, you really should be more vigilant about making sure your hearing impairment hasn’t worsened.
Hearing exams are important for many reasons. It’s often hard for you to observe the earliest signs of hearing loss without one, and even mild hearing impairment can affect your health.
So when should you get your hearing tested? Here are several ways to tell if you need to consult with us.
Signs you should get a hearing test
If you’ve recently experienced any of the symptoms of hearing loss, it’s definitely a good idea to get a professional hearing screening. Clearly, it’s a powerful indication of hearing loss if you’re having a hard time hearing.
But some of the other signs of hearing loss are more subtle:
- You have a hard time hearing when you’re in a noisy environment: Have you ever had a difficult time following along with conversations because of background noise in a busy room? If this sounds familiar you could be experiencing hearing loss. Being able to identify sounds is one sign of healthy hearing; this ability tends to wane as hearing loss progresses.
- You’re always missing text messages: Your cellphone (or mobile device, as they’re called now) 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 maybe, when you think about it, you’re missing out on more everyday sounds.
- It sounds like everyone’s mumbling all the time: Sometimes, it’s clarity not volume you need to be concerned about. Trouble following along with conversations is one of the first signs that something is going wrong with your hearing. It might be time for a hearing screening if you observe this happening more and more frequently.
- Persistent ringing in your ears: A common sign of injured hearing is a ringing in the ears, also called tinnitus. Ringing in the ear may or may not point to hearing loss. But if the ringing won’t stop, you should definitely come see us for a hearing assessment.
Here are a few other situations that show you should make an appointment for a hearing exam:
- You have an accumulation of ear wax you’re body can’t clear on your own
- You experience vertigo
- It’s hard to pinpoint the origin of sounds
- You have an ear infection and it won’t go away
- You take certain medications that can damage your hearing
This checklist, clearly, is not thorough. 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 louder). It would be a smart plan to follow up on any of these signs.
But what if, to your knowledge, you haven’t encountered any of these possible symptoms of hearing loss? Is there a guideline for how often you should go get your hearing checked? 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 baseline of your mature hearing.
- Every three years or so will be a practical schedule if your hearing seems healthy. That can be a long time to pay attention to, so make sure they’re marked in your medical records somewhere.
- If you notice signs of hearing loss, you will want to get it tested right away, and then yearly after that.
Regular examinations can help you discover hearing loss before any red flags appear. You will have a better chance of preserving your hearing over time the sooner you get checked. Which means, you should probably turn your TV down and make an appointment for a hearing examination.