When is it time to get a hearing exam? You need a hearing exam if you have any of these four signs.
Recently, my kids complained about how loud my TV was. And guess what my reply was. I said, “What”? It was a joke. I thought it was funny. But, in some ways, it was anything but funny. I have needed to turn the TV up increasingly louder as of late. And that got me thinking that perhaps it’s time for a hearing test.
There aren’t all 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 isn’t any radiation. You’ve most likely just been putting it off.
You should really be more vigilant about staying on top of your hearing because, if left unchecked, it can impact your overall health.
Hearing assessments are important for a wide variety of reasons. Even mild hearing loss can have an impact on your health and it’s virtually impossible to identify early hearing loss without a hearing examination.
So how can you recognize if you should schedule an appointment? Here are several ways to know if you need to come see us.
Signs you should get a hearing test
It’s time to get a professional hearing assessment if you’ve been noticing signs of hearing loss recently. Clearly, it’s a strong indication of hearing loss if you’re having a difficult time hearing.
But some of the other indications 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 have to worry about, it’s a loss of definition. Difficulty making out conversations is one of the first signs that something is going wrong with your hearing. It might be time for a hearing exam if you detect this happening more and more frequently.
- Chronic ringing in your ears: Ringing in your ears, which goes by the name of tinnitus, is frequently a sign of hearing damage. If you’re experiencing some ringing that won’t stop, it may or may not be a sign of hearing loss. But it’s definitely an indication that you should schedule a hearing assessment.
- You always miss alerts for text messages: Your cellphone (or mobile device, as they’re called these days) is designed to be loud. So if you’re frequently missing calls or text messages, it may be because you aren’t hearing them. And if you can’t hear your mobile device, what else are you missing?
- You have a difficult time hearing when you’re in a noisy environment: Have you ever been to a crowded or noisy space and had trouble hearing the conversation because of all the ambient noise? If this sounds 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 advances.
This list isn’t exhaustive, here are a few more:
- You have an ear infection and it won’t clear up
- You’re experiencing episodes of vertigo
- You have an accumulation of ear wax you’re body can’t clear by itself
- It’s hard to pinpoint the source of sounds
- You take certain medications that can damage your hearing
This checklist is certainly not exhaustive. For example, if your TV’s volume is at max and you still can’t hear it. It would be a smart idea to follow up on any of these signs.
But what if, to your awareness, you haven’t encountered any of these possible signs of hearing impairment? Is there a guideline for how frequently you should go get your hearing checked? With all of the other guidelines for everything, this one seems like a no-brainer. Well, yes, there are suggestions.
- Get a primary assessment done sometime after you’re 21. Then your mature hearing will have a standard.
- If your hearing is normal, undergo hearing screenings or tests every three years or so. That can be a huge chunk of time to pay attention to, so make sure they’re noted in your medical records somewhere.
- If you show signs of hearing loss, you will want to get it tested right away, and then yearly after that.
Regular screenings can help you discover hearing loss before any warning signs appear. The earlier you find treatment, the better you’ll be able to preserve your hearing into the future. Which means, you should probably turn down your TV and schedule a hearing test.