When is it time to have your hearing checked? You need a hearing test if you have any of these four warning signs.
The other day, my kids complained about how loud my television was. 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 ask myself: should I get a hearing test?
There aren’t really that many reasons not to schedule yourself for a hearing exam. Hearing assessments don’t cause you any discomfort, they’re non-invasive, and there’s no radiation. You’ve most likely just been putting it on the back-burner.
Considering how much neglected hearing loss can affect your health, you really should be more vigilant about making sure your hearing impairment hasn’t gotten worse.
There are lots of good reasons why hearing evaluations are essential. It’s often difficult for you to observe the earliest indications of hearing loss without one, and even mild hearing impairment can affect your health.
So when should you have your hearing tested? Here are several ways to tell if you need to consult with us.
You should get your hearing tested if you observe these signs
If you’ve recently experienced any of the symptoms of hearing loss, it’s probably a good idea to get a professional hearing exam. Naturally, if things are difficult to hear, that’s a pretty strong indication of hearing loss.
But that’s not the only indicator, and there are some signs of hearing loss that are far less obvious:
- 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 keep noticing 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 might you be missing?
- Ringing that won’t clear itself up: A common 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 clear itself up, you should definitely call us for a hearing assessment.
- You have a difficult time hearing when you’re in a noisy environment: Have you ever had a hard time following along with conversations because of ambient noise in a busy room? If this sounds familiar you could be experiencing hearing loss. As your hearing progresses from healthy to impaired, one of the first signs is the loss of the ability to isolate specific sounds.
- It sounds like everyone’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 distinction. One of the earlier signs of hearing loss is difficulty making out conversations. It may be time for a hearing test if you detect this occurring more and more often.
This list isn’t thorough, here are a few more:
- Your ear hasn’t cleared after an ear infection
- You have a buildup of ear wax you’re body can’t clear on your own
- You can’t easily determine where particular sounds are originating
- You experience vertigo
- You take certain medications that can harm your hearing
This list is certainly not exhaustive. There are other examples of red flags (if, for example, the volume on your TV is maxed out and you still wish it could go just a little louder). But any one of these signs is worth following up on.
But what if, to your awareness, you haven’t encountered any of these potential signs 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.
- Sometime after you turn 21, you should get a hearing assessment. That way, you’ll have a baseline of your mature hearing.
- If your hearing is normal, have 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 marked in your medical records somewhere.
- If you notice signs of hearing loss, you will want to get it assessed immediately, and then yearly after that.
Regular examinations can help you discover hearing loss before any warning signs surface. The earlier you seek treatment, the better you’ll be able to preserve your hearing into the future. Which means, you should probably turn down your TV and schedule a hearing examination.