When should you get a hearing test? Here are four clues that you need to have your hearing assessed.
The other day, my kids complained about how loud my TV was. Do you know what my response was? I said, “What”? It was a joke. I thought it was amusing. But, in reality, it was anything but funny. I have needed to turn the TV up louder and louder as of late. And that got me thinking that maybe it’s time for a hearing test.
It really doesn’t make much sense to neglect getting a hearing test. Hearing assessments don’t cause you any discomfort, they’re non-invasive, and there’s no radiation. You’ve probably just been putting it off.
You should really be more diligent about keeping track of your hearing because, if left unchecked, it can affect your general health.
Hearing exams are important for many reasons. It’s often hard for you to observe the earliest indications of hearing loss without one, and even mild hearing loss can impact your health.
So how can you recognize if you should make an appointment? Here are some clues that it’s time.
Signs you should have your hearing tested
If you’ve recently encountered any of the symptoms of hearing loss, it’s definitely a smart plan to get a professional hearing screening. Clearly, it’s a strong indication of hearing loss if you’re having a difficult time hearing.
But that’s not the only indicator, and there are some signs of hearing loss that are much less obvious:
- Persistent ringing in your ears: Ringing in your ears, which goes by the name of tinnitus, is often a sign of hearing damage. If you’re dealing with some ringing that won’t stop, it may or may not be a symptom of hearing loss. But it’s definitely a sign that you should schedule a hearing test.
- It sounds like everyone’s mumbling all the time: Sometimes, it’s not loss of volume you need to worry about, it’s a loss of distinction. Trouble following along with conversations is one of the first signs that something is going bad with your hearing. If you notice this happening more often, you may want to schedule a hearing exam.
- You’re always missing text messages: Your cellphone (or mobile device, as they’re called these days) is designed to be loud. So if you’re continuously missing calls or text messages, it might be because you aren’t hearing them. And perhaps, when you think about it, you’re missing out on more common sounds.
- It’s tough to hear in noisy places: Have you ever been to a busy or noisy space and had trouble hearing the conversation because of all the background noise? That may actually be an indication of hearing loss. Being able to isolate sounds is one indication of healthy hearing; this ability tends to wane as hearing loss worsens.
Here are some other situations that show you should make an appointment for a hearing exam:
- Your ears are not clearing earwax thoroughly
- You have an ear infection and it won’t go away
- You take specific medications that can harm your hearing
- You’re experiencing episodes of vertigo
- It’s challenging to pinpoint the origin of sounds
This list, clearly, isn’t complete. For instance, if your TV’s volume is maxed and you still can’t hear it. It would be a good plan to follow up on any of these symptoms.
But what if, to your knowledge, you haven’t experienced any of these potential symptoms of hearing impairment? Is there a guideline for how often you should schedule a hearing exam? There’s a guideline for everything else, 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 test. That way, you’ll have a baseline of your mature hearing.
- If your hearing is normal, have hearing screenings or tests every three years or so. That can be a long time to pay attention to, so make sure they’re noted in your medical records somewhere.
- You’ll want to get tested right away if you notice any signs of hearing loss and after that once a year.
Routine examinations can help you identify hearing loss before any warning signs appear. The earlier you find treatment, the better you’ll be able to maintain your hearing in the long run. Which means, you should probably turn down your TV and schedule a hearing assessment.