When is it time to get a hearing exam? Here are four signs that you should have your hearing assessed.
I guess my TV is frequently cranked up to the point where my kids recently complained. And guess what I said. I said, “What”? It was funny. Because it was a joke. But, in some ways, it was anything but funny. I have needed to turn the TV up louder and louder lately. And I started to ask myself: should I have my hearing tested?
It really doesn’t make much sense to avoid getting a hearing assessment. They’re not invasive, there’s no radiation, you don’t need to worry about discomfort. You’ve probably just been putting it off.
Considering how much untreated hearing loss can impact your health, you really should be more diligent about making sure your hearing impairment hasn’t worsened.
There are a lot of good reasons why hearing assessments are essential. Even mild hearing loss can have an impact on your health and it’s virtually impossible to identify early hearing loss without a hearing examination.
So when should you have your hearing tested? Here are a few ways to tell if you need to consult with us.
Signs you should get a hearing test
If you’ve recently observed any of the signs of hearing loss, it’s probably a good plan to get a professional hearing screening. Clearly, it’s a strong indication of hearing loss if you’re having a hard time hearing.
But some of the other signs of hearing loss are more subtle:
- It sounds like everybody’s mumbling all the time: Sometimes, it’s not loss of volume you have to be concerned with, it’s a loss of definition. Difficulty following along with conversations is one of the first signs that something is going bad with your hearing. It may be time for a hearing assessment if you notice this happening more and more often.
- You’re always missing text messages: Mobile devices are made to be loud enough for you to hear. So if you’re constantly missing calls or text messages, it may be because you aren’t hearing them. And maybe, when you think about it, you’re failing to hear more everyday sounds.
- You have a tough time hearing when you’re in a loud environment: Have you ever been to a crowded or noisy room and had trouble following the conversation because of all the ambient noise? That may actually be an indication of hearing loss. As your hearing progresses from healthy to impaired, one of the first signs is the loss of the ability to identify specific sounds.
- Ringing that won’t clear itself up: Ringing in your ears, which goes by the name of tinnitus, is often a sign of hearing damage. Ringing in the ear may or may not indicate hearing loss. But it’s definitely a sign that you should schedule a hearing exam.
Here are a few other circumstances that show you should schedule a hearing exam:
- It’s difficult to determine the source of sounds
- You frequently use specific medications that are known to have an effect on your hearing.
- Your ear hasn’t cleared after an ear infection
- You’re experiencing episodes of vertigo
- Your ears are not clearing earwax thoroughly
This checklist, clearly, isn’t thorough. 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 smart idea to look into any of these signs.
But what if, to your knowledge, you haven’t encountered any of these possible signs of hearing loss? So how often should you have your hearing tested? 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 need to have a hearing test. That way, you’ll have a standard of your mature hearing.
- Every three years or so will be a good schedule if your hearing seems normal. 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 show signs of hearing loss, you will want to get it checked immediately, and then annually after that.
Regular screenings can help you discover hearing loss before any warning signs develop. The earlier you seek treatment, the better you’ll be able to protect your hearing into the future. Which means, you should probably turn your TV down and schedule a hearing assessment.