When is it time to get a hearing exam? 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. Do you know what I said to them? 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 lately. And that got me thinking that perhaps it’s time for a hearing assessment.
It really doesn’t make much sense to avoid getting a hearing test. They’re not invasive, there’s no radiation, you don’t have to worry about discomfort. You’ve probably just been putting it on the back-burner.
You should really be more vigilant about staying on top of your hearing because, if left untreated, it can affect your general health.
There are lots of good reasons why hearing assessments 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 can you recognize if you should make an appointment? Here are a few ways to tell if you need to consult with us.
Signs you should have your hearing tested
If you’ve recently encountered any of the signs of hearing loss, it’s definitely a smart plan to get a professional hearing exam. Clearly, it’s a powerful indication of hearing loss if you’re having a difficult time hearing.
But that’s not the only symptom, and there are some signs of hearing impairment that are far less apparent:
- It’s tough to hear in noisy places: Have you ever had a hard time following along with conversations because of background noise in a busy room? If this seems familiar you could be developing hearing loss. As your hearing goes from healthy to impaired, one of the first signs is the loss of the ability to isolate distinct sounds.
- It sounds like everyone’s mumbling all the time: Often, it’s clarity not volume you have to worry about. Trouble making out conversations is one of the first signs that something is going wrong with your hearing. It may be time for a hearing screening if you notice this occurring more and more frequently.
- 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 can’t hear them. And if you’re unable to hear your mobile device, what else are you missing?
- Persistent ringing in your ears: A common sign of damaged hearing is a ringing in the ears, also known as tinnitus. If you’re dealing with 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 come see us for a hearing assessment.
This list isn’t thorough, here are a few more:
- You have vertigo
- You take specific medications that can harm your hearing
- Your ears aren’t clearing earwax completely
- Your ear hasn’t cleared after an ear infection
- It’s hard to determine the origin of sounds
This checklist, obviously, isn’t thorough. There are other examples of warning signs (if, for instance, the volume on your TV is maxed out and you still wish it could go just a little bit louder). It would be a good 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 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. There are, actually, some suggestions.
- Get a baseline test done sometime after you’re 21. Then your mature hearing will have a baseline.
- Every three years or so will be a practical schedule if your hearing seems healthy. But make sure you mark these appointments in your calendar or medical records because it’s easy to forget over these large periods of time.
- If you notice signs of hearing loss, you will want to have it tested immediately, and then yearly after that.
Routine screenings can help you detect hearing loss before any red flags develop. The earlier you seek treatment, the better you’ll be able to preserve your hearing in the long run. So it’s time to pick up the phone and make an appointment for a hearing examination.