When is it time to have your hearing checked? Here are four clues that you should get your hearing tested.
I guess my TV is frequently turned up to the point where my kids recently complained. You know what I said to them? 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 I began to wonder: should I have my hearing tested?
There aren’t all that many reasons not to make an appointment for a hearing exam. Hearing assessments don’t cause you any discomfort, they’re non-invasive, and there isn’t any radiation. You’ve probably just been putting it off.
Considering how much neglected hearing loss can affect your health, you really should be more vigilant about making sure your hearing impairment hasn’t gotten worse.
There are a lot of good reasons why hearing evaluations are important. Even slight hearing loss can have an affect on your health and it’s almost impossible to identify early hearing loss without a hearing test.
So how will you know if you should make an appointment? Here are some clues that it’s time.
Signs you should get a hearing test
If you’ve recently experienced any of the signs of hearing loss, it’s probably a smart idea to get a professional hearing screening. Obviously, if things are hard to hear, that’s a pretty solid indication of hearing loss.
But some of the other signs of hearing loss are more subtle:
- It seems as if people are mumbling when they talk: In some cases, it’s not loss of volume you need to worry about, it’s a loss of definition. One of the first symptoms of hearing loss is trouble making out conversations. It might be time for a hearing screening if you detect this occurring more and more frequently.
- You’re always missing text messages: Mobile devices are made to be loud enough for you to hear. So if you’re frequently missing calls or text messages, it might be because you can’t hear them. And maybe, when you think about it, you’re missing out on more common sounds.
- You have a difficult time hearing when you’re in a noisy setting: Have you ever had a difficult time following along with conversations because of ambient noise in a crowded room? If this seems familiar you could be experiencing hearing loss. Being able to identify sounds is one sign of a healthy ear; this ability tends to decline as hearing loss progresses.
- Ringing that won’t go away: Ringing in your ears, which goes by the name of tinnitus, is typically a sign of hearing damage. If you’re experiencing some ringing that won’t stop, it might or might not be a symptom of hearing loss. But if the ringing won’t go away, you should definitely call us for a hearing evaluation.
Here are some other situations that show you should schedule a hearing exam:
- You regularly use specific medications that are recognized to have an effect on your hearing.
- It’s hard to pinpoint the source of sounds
- you’re experiencing an ear infection and it won’t clear up
- You have an accumulation of ear wax you’re body can’t clear by itself
- You’re experiencing episodes of vertigo
This list is in no way exhaustive. For example, if your TV’s volume is maxed and you still can’t hear it. It would be a smart plan to follow up on any of these symptoms.
But how should you cope with it when you’re not sure if you have any symptoms of hearing loss. So how frequently should you get your hearing screened? With all of the other guidelines for everything, this one seems like a no-brainer. There are, actually, some suggestions.
- Sometime after you turn 21, you should have a hearing test. Then your mature hearing will have a baseline.
- If your hearing is normal, have hearing examinations or tests every three years or so. That can be a huge chunk of time to pay attention to, so make sure they’re marked in your medical records somewhere.
- If you notice signs of hearing loss, you will want to get it assessed right away, and then annually after that.
Regular screenings can help you identify hearing loss before any red flags appear. You will have a better chance of preserving your hearing over time the sooner you get tested. Which means, you should probably turn down your TV and schedule a hearing examination.