When is it time to have your hearing checked? You need a hearing exam if you have any of these four signs.
The other day, my kids complained about how loud my television was. You know what I said to them? 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 that got me thinking that perhaps it’s time for a hearing assessment.
It really doesn’t make much sense to neglect getting a hearing test. Hearing tests don’t cause you any discomfort, they’re non-invasive, and there isn’t any 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 vigilant about making sure your hearing loss hasn’t worsened.
There are a lot of good reasons why hearing evaluations are important. Even mild hearing loss can have an impact on your health and it’s almost impossible to recognize early hearing loss without a hearing assessment.
So how will you know if you should schedule an appointment? Here are some signs that it’s time.
You should get your hearing tested if you experience these signs
It’s time to get a professional hearing assessment if you’ve been experiencing signs of hearing loss recently. Obviously, if things are hard to hear, that’s a pretty solid indication of hearing loss.
But that’s not the only symptom, and there are some signs of hearing loss that are much less apparent:
- You always miss alerts for 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 failed to hear, it’s probably because you couldn’t hear them. And perhaps, when you think about it, you’re failing to hear more common sounds.
- It’s hard to hear in noisy venues: Have you ever had a difficult time keeping up with conversations because of ambient noise in a busy room? That could actually be a sign of hearing loss. As your hearing progresses from healthy to impaired, one of the first signs is the loss of the ability to isolate distinct sounds.
- Ringing that won’t go away: Ringing in your ears, which is called tinnitus, is often a symptom of hearing damage. Ringing in the ear might or might not indicate hearing loss. But it’s definitely a sign that you should get a hearing assessment.
- It seems as if people are mumbling when they speak: Sometimes, it’s not loss of volume you need to worry about, it’s a loss of distinction. Difficulty making out conversations is one of the first signs that something is going wrong with your hearing. If you experience this happening more and more, you may want to schedule a hearing test.
Here are some other circumstances that indicate you should make an appointment for a hearing screening:
- Your ears aren’t removing earwax completely
- You frequently use certain medications that are known to have an impact on your hearing.
- Your ear is still plugged after an infection
- You experience vertigo
- You can’t easily identify where particular sounds are originating
This checklist is certainly not exhaustive. 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 plan to follow up on any of these signs.
But what if, to your knowledge, you haven’t experienced any of these potential symptoms of hearing impairment? So how frequently 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.
- Sometime after you turn 21, you need to get a hearing test. That way, you’ll have a baseline of your mature hearing.
- If your hearing is normal, have hearing examinations or tests every three years or so. That can be a long time to pay attention to, so make certain they’re noted in your medical records somewhere.
- You’ll want to get assessed right away if you notice any signs of hearing loss and after that once every year.
Regular screenings can help you discover hearing loss before any warning signs surface. The earlier you seek treatment, the better you’ll be able to protect your hearing in the long run. So it’s time to pick up the phone and make an appointment for a hearing assessment.