When is it time to have your hearing checked? Here are four signs that you should get your hearing tested.
I guess my TV is regularly turned up to the point where my kids recently complained. You know what my response was? I said, “What”? It was humorous. Because it was a joke. But, in reality, it was anything but funny. The TV has been getting progressively louder. And that got me thinking that perhaps it’s time for a hearing test.
It really doesn’t make much sense to avoid getting a hearing assessment. Hearing tests don’t cause you any discomfort, they’re non-invasive, and there’s no radiation. You’ve probably 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 loss hasn’t gotten worse.
Hearing exams are important for a wide variety of 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 have a hearing test? Here are several ways to know if you need to come see us.
You should get your hearing tested if you experience these signs
If you’ve recently experienced any of the symptoms of hearing loss, it’s definitely a good idea to get a professional hearing exam. Naturally, if things are hard to hear, that’s a pretty solid indication of hearing loss.
But that’s not the only symptom, and there are some signs of hearing impairment that are far less apparent:
- It seems as if people are mumbling when they speak: Sometimes, it’s not loss of volume you have to be concerned with, it’s a loss of definition. One of the earlier signs of hearing loss is trouble following conversations. It may be time for a hearing screening if you detect this occurring more and more frequently.
- 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 finding text messages or calls that you failed to hear, it’s most likely because you couldn’t hear them. And maybe, when you think about it, you’re failing to hear more common sounds.
- It’s difficult to hear in noisy places: Have you ever had a hard time keeping up with conversations because of background noise in a busy 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.
- Persistent ringing in your ears: Ringing in your ears, which is called tinnitus, is often a symptom of hearing damage. Ringing in the ear might or might not point to hearing loss. But it’s definitely a sign that you should get a hearing test.
Here are several other situations that show you should make an appointment for a hearing exam:
- You take specific medications that can harm your hearing
- You experience vertigo
- You can’t easily determine where specific sounds are coming from
- You have a buildup of ear wax you’re body can’t clear on your own
- you’re experiencing an ear infection and it won’t clear up
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 bit louder). It would be a good idea to follow up on any of these signs.
But what if, to your awareness, you haven’t encountered any of these potential signs of hearing loss? So how frequently should you get your hearing tested? There’s a guideline for everything, right, so there’s got to be a guideline for this. Well, yes, there are recommendations.
- Sometime after you turn 21, you should have a hearing assessment. Then your mature hearing will have a baseline.
- If your hearing is healthy, have 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.
- You’ll want to get tested right away if you detect any signs of hearing loss and after that once every year.
Routine screenings can help you discover hearing loss before any warning signs appear. The earlier you obtain treatment, the better you’ll be able to maintain your hearing into the future. So it’s time to pick up the phone and make an appointment for a hearing test.