When is it time to get a hearing exam? Here are four clues that you need to have your hearing tested.
Recently, my kids complained about how loud my TV was. And guess what I said. I said, “What”? It was a joke. I thought it was funny. But it also wasn’t. The TV has been getting louder and louder. And I began to wonder: should I get a hearing test?
There aren’t really that many reasons not to schedule yourself for a hearing exam. Hearing tests don’t cause you any discomfort, they’re non-invasive, and there’s no radiation. It’s really just that you haven’t made time for it.
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.
Hearing exams are important for many reasons. It’s often difficult for you to observe the earliest signs of hearing loss without one, and even mild hearing loss can impact your health.
So when should you get a hearing test? Here are some clues that it’s time.
Signs you should have your hearing tested
It’s time to get a professional hearing assessment if you’ve been experiencing symptoms of hearing loss recently. Naturally, 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 obvious:
- You’re always missing text messages: Your cellphone (or mobile device, as they’re called now) is made to be loud. So if you keep noticing text messages or calls that you missed, it’s probably because you didn’t hear them. And perhaps, when you think about it, you’re failing to hear more everyday sounds.
- It seems as if people are mumbling when they talk: In some cases, it’s not loss of volume you need to be concerned with, it’s a loss of distinction. 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 observe this occurring more and more often.
- Chronic ringing in your ears: Ringing in your ears, which goes by the name of tinnitus, is frequently a symptom of hearing damage. If you’re experiencing some ringing that won’t go away, it may or may not be a sign of hearing loss. But it’s certainly a sign that you should schedule a hearing exam.
- It’s tough to hear in noisy places: Have you ever been to a busy or loud space and had trouble hearing the conversation because of all the background noise? That could actually be an indication of hearing loss. As your hearing goes from healthy to impaired, one of the first signs is the loss of the ability to identify specific sounds.
Here are a few other situations that indicate you should schedule a hearing screening:
- Your ears aren’t clearing earwax thoroughly
- You experience vertigo
- You regularly use specific medications that are recognized to have an effect on your hearing.
- You can’t readily determine where specific sounds are originating
- You have an ear infection and it won’t go away
This list, obviously, is not thorough. For example, if your TV’s volume is maxed and you still can’t hear it. It would be a good idea to look into any of these signs.
But how should you deal with it when you’re not sure if you have any symptoms of hearing loss. So how often should you get your hearing tested? With all of the other guidelines for everything, this one seems like a no-brainer. Well, yes, there are recommendations.
- Get a baseline assessment done sometime after you’re 21. That way, you’ll have a baseline of your mature hearing.
- If your hearing is normal, undergo hearing screenings or tests every three years or so. But be 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 assessed right away, and then annually after that.
Regular examinations can help you identify hearing loss before any red flags appear. You will have a better chance of maintaining your hearing over time the sooner you get checked. Which means, you should probably turn down your TV and make an appointment for a hearing test.