When is it time to get a hearing exam? You need a hearing exam if you have any of these four signs.
I guess my TV is regularly turned 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 increasingly louder lately. 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’s no radiation. You’ve most likely just been putting it off.
Considering how much neglected hearing loss can impact your health, you really should be more diligent about making sure your hearing loss hasn’t gotten worse.
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 virtually impossible to detect early hearing loss without a hearing test.
So when should you get a hearing test? Here are several ways to know if you need to consult with us.
You should get your hearing tested if you observe these signs
It’s time to get a professional hearing test if you’ve been noticing symptoms of hearing loss recently. Obviously, if things are hard to hear, that’s a pretty strong indication of hearing loss.
But some of the other indications of hearing loss are more subtle:
- It seems as if people are mumbling when they speak: Sometimes, it’s clarity not volume you have to worry about. One of the earlier symptoms of hearing loss is trouble following conversations. If you experience this happening more and more, you may want to make an appointment for a hearing exam.
- You’re always missing text messages: Your phone (or mobile device, as they’re called now) is designed to be loud. So if you keep noticing text messages or calls that you failed to hear, it’s probably because you didn’t hear them. And if you’re unable to hear your mobile device, what else might you be missing?
- Ringing that won’t subside: A typical sign of injured hearing is a ringing in the ears, also called tinnitus. Ringing in the ear may or may not indicate hearing loss. But if the ringing won’t clear itself up, you should definitely call us for a hearing test.
- It’s tough to hear in noisy locations: Have you ever had a hard time keeping up with conversations because of background noise in a crowded room? 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 isolate specific sounds.
Here are a few other situations that indicate you should schedule a hearing evaluation:
- You have a buildup of ear wax you’re body can’t clear on your own
- You can’t easily detect where specific sounds are originating
- You have an ear infection and it won’t go away
- You experience vertigo
- You take certain medications that can harm your hearing
This checklist, clearly, is not complete. There are other examples of red flags (if, for instance, the volume on your TV is maxed out and you still wish it could go just a little louder). It would be a good plan to follow up on any of these signs.
But what if, to your knowledge, you haven’t encountered any of these possible symptoms of hearing loss? So how frequently should you get your hearing tested? With all of the other guidelines for everything else, this one seems like a no-brainer. There are, actually, some suggestions.
- Get a baseline exam done sometime after you’re 21. That way, you’ll have a baseline of your mature hearing.
- Every three years or so will be a practical schedule if your hearing appears normal. But make sure you mark these appointments in your calendar or medical records because it’s easy to forget over these long periods of time.
- If you notice signs of hearing loss, you will want to get it assessed right away, and then annually after that.
It will be easier to identify any hearing loss before any red flags become apparent with routine examinations. The earlier you seek treatment, the better you’ll be able to protect your hearing in the long run. Which means, you should probably turn your TV down and make an appointment for a hearing assessment.