When should you have your hearing tested? You need a hearing exam if you have any of these four warning signs.
Recently, my kids complained about how loud my television was. And guess what I said. 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 lately. And that got me thinking that maybe it’s time for a hearing assessment.
There aren’t all that many reasons not to make an appointment for a hearing test. They’re not invasive, there’s no radiation, you don’t have to worry about discomfort. You’ve most likely just been putting it on the back-burner.
Considering how much untreated hearing loss can impact your health, you really should be more diligent about making sure your hearing loss hasn’t gotten worse.
Hearing exams are essential for many reasons. It’s usually difficult for you to observe the earliest indications of hearing loss without one, and even mild hearing impairment can affect your health.
So how can you recognize if you should schedule an appointment? Here are several ways to tell if you need to consult with us.
You should get your hearing tested if you notice these signs
It’s time to get a professional hearing test if you’ve been experiencing signs of hearing loss recently. Obviously, 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 impairment that are much less apparent:
- It seems like people are mumbling when they talk: Often, it’s clearness not volume you have to worry about. Difficulty making out conversations is one of the first signs that something is going bad with your hearing. It might be time for a hearing assessment if you observe this happening more and more frequently.
- You have a hard time hearing when you’re in a noisy environment: Have you ever had a hard time keeping up with conversations because of ambient noise in a crowded room? That could actually be an indication of hearing loss. Being able to isolate sounds is one sign of healthy hearing; this ability tends to diminish as hearing loss progresses.
- 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 finding text messages or calls that you missed, it’s probably because you couldn’t hear them. And perhaps, when you think about it, you’re failing to hear more common sounds.
- Persistent ringing in your ears: A common sign of injured hearing is a ringing in the ears, also called tinnitus. Ringing in the ear might or might not indicate hearing loss. But it’s certainly a sign that you should get a hearing exam.
Here are a few other circumstances that indicate you should schedule a hearing screening:
- It’s difficult to determine the origin of sounds
- You regularly use certain medications that are recognized to have an impact on your hearing.
- You’re experiencing episodes of vertigo
- Your ear is still plugged after an ear infection
- You have a buildup of ear wax you’re body can’t clear on your own
This list, clearly, is not thorough. There are other examples of warning signs (if, for example, the volume on your TV is maxed out and you still want it to go just a little bit louder). It would be a good idea to look into any of these symptoms.
But how should you cope with it when you’re not sure if you have any signs of hearing loss. So how often should you get your hearing checked? With all of the other guidelines for everything else, this one seems like a no-brainer. There are, actually, some suggestions.
- Get a baseline exam done sometime after you’re 21. Then your mature hearing will have a standard.
- Every three years or so will be a practical schedule if your hearing seems healthy. But make sure you note 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 have it assessed right away, and then annually 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. So it’s time to pick up the phone and schedule a hearing assessment.