When is it time to get a hearing exam? 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 funny. Because it was a joke. But it also wasn’t. I have needed to turn the TV up louder and louder as of late. And I began to ask myself: should I have my hearing tested?
There aren’t all that many reasons not to schedule yourself 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.
You should really be more vigilant about keeping track of your hearing because, if left unchecked, it can affect your overall health.
Hearing assessments are essential for many reasons. Even mild hearing loss can have an affect on your health and it’s virtually impossible to identify early hearing loss without a hearing assessment.
So how can you recognize if you should schedule an appointment? Here are a few ways to know if you need to come see us.
Signs you should get a hearing test
If you’ve recently encountered any of the signs of hearing loss, it’s probably a smart plan to get a professional hearing screening. Naturally, if things are difficult to hear, that’s a pretty strong indication of hearing loss.
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 noticing text messages or calls that you failed to hear, it’s most likely because you couldn’t hear them. And if you’re unable to hear your mobile device, what else might you be missing?
- It sounds like everybody’s always mumbling: Sometimes, it’s clearness not volume you need to be concerned about. One of the earlier signs of hearing loss is trouble making out conversations. It may be time for a hearing screening if you notice this happening more and more often.
- Ringing that won’t clear itself up: A typical sign of injured hearing is a ringing in the ears, also known as tinnitus. If you’re dealing with some ringing that won’t go away, it might or might not be a sign of hearing loss. But it’s certainly an indication that you should get a hearing exam.
- It’s tough to hear in noisy venues: Have you ever had a hard time keeping up with conversations because of ambient noise in a crowded room? If this seems familiar you could be experiencing hearing loss. As your hearing goes from healthy to impaired, one of the first warning signs is the loss of the ability to identify distinct sounds.
This list is not thorough, here are a few more:
- Your ear hasn’t cleared after an ear infection
- You take specific medications that can damage your hearing
- It’s challenging to pinpoint the source of sounds
- You’re experiencing episodes of vertigo
- Your ears aren’t clearing earwax completely
This list is by no means exhaustive. There are other examples of red flags (if, for example, the volume on your TV is maxed out and you still want it to go just a little louder). It would be a good idea to follow up on any of these symptoms.
But what if, to your awareness, you haven’t experienced any of these potential signs of hearing impairment? So how frequently should you have your hearing tested? There’s a guideline for everything else, 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. That way, you’ll have a baseline of your mature hearing.
- If your hearing is normal, undergo hearing examinations or tests every three years or so. That can be a long time to pay attention to, so make certain they’re marked in your medical records somewhere.
- You’ll want to get assessed right away if you notice any signs of hearing loss and after that once a year.
Routine examinations can help you identify hearing loss before any warning signs surface. You will have a better chance of protecting your hearing over time the sooner you get tested. Which means, you should probably turn your TV down and schedule a hearing assessment.