When should you get a hearing test? You need a hearing exam if you have any of these four warning signs.
Recently, my kids complained about how loud my TV was. And guess what I said. I said, “What”? It was funny. Because it was a joke. But it also wasn’t. The TV has been getting progressively louder. And I started to wonder: should I have my hearing tested?
There aren’t really that many excuses not to schedule yourself for a hearing test. 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 off.
You should really be more diligent about keeping track of your hearing because, if left untreated, it can impact your overall health.
There are lots of good reasons why hearing assessments are important. It’s often hard for you to observe the earliest signs of hearing loss without one, and even slight hearing loss can impact your health.
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 experiencing symptoms of hearing loss recently. Clearly, it’s a strong indication of hearing loss if you’re having a difficult time hearing.
But that’s not the only indicator, and there are some signs of hearing impairment that are far less apparent:
- Chronic ringing in your ears: A typical 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 go away, you should absolutely come see us for a hearing test.
- 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 might be because you aren’t hearing them. And maybe, when you think about it, you’re failing to hear more common sounds.
- You have a difficult time hearing when you’re in a loud environment: Have you ever been to a busy or noisy room and had trouble following the conversation because of all the background noise? That could actually be a sign of hearing loss. As your hearing progresses from healthy to impaired, one of the first signs is the loss of the ability to identify distinct sounds.
- It sounds like everybody’s mumbling all the time: In some cases, it’s not loss of volume you need to be concerned with, it’s a loss of distinction. Trouble making out conversations is one of the first signs that something is going bad with your hearing. It may be time for a hearing screening if you notice this occurring more and more often.
Here are a few other circumstances that show you should make an appointment for a hearing screening:
- You have an ear infection and it won’t go away
- It’s difficult to determine the origin of sounds
- You have an accumulation of ear wax you’re body can’t clear by itself
- You regularly use specific medications that are recognized to have an effect on your hearing.
- You have vertigo
This checklist is by no means exhaustive. There are other examples 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 signs is worth looking into.
But how should you deal with it when you’re not certain if you have any signs of hearing loss. Is there a guideline for how often you should go get your hearing checked? There’s a guideline for everything else, right, so there’s got to be a guideline for this. There are, actually, some recommendations.
- Get a primary test done sometime after you’re 21. Then your mature hearing will have a standard.
- If your hearing is normal, undergo hearing screenings or tests every three years or so. But be sure you mark these appointments in your calendar or medical records because it’s easy to forget over these large periods of time.
- If you notice signs of hearing loss, you will want to get it assessed immediately, and then yearly after that.
It will be easier to uncover any hearing loss before any red flags become apparent with routine screenings. The earlier you seek treatment, the better you’ll be able to preserve your hearing in the long run. So it’s time to pick up the phone and make an appointment for a hearing test.