When is it time to get a hearing exam? Here are four clues that you should get your hearing assessed.
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 humorous. Because it was a joke. 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.
There aren’t all that many excuses not to schedule yourself for a hearing exam. They aren’t invasive, there’s no radiation, you don’t need to worry about discomfort. It’s really just that you haven’t made time for it.
Considering how much neglected hearing loss can impact your health, you really should be more vigilant about making sure your hearing loss hasn’t gotten worse.
Hearing assessments are essential for a wide variety of reasons. It’s usually difficult for you to discover the earliest signs of hearing loss without one, and even mild hearing loss can affect your health.
So when should you get your hearing tested? Here are a few ways to tell if you need to come see us.
You should get your hearing tested if you experience these signs
It’s time to get a professional hearing test if you’ve been noticing signs of hearing loss recently. Clearly, it’s a powerful indication of hearing loss if you’re having a hard time hearing.
But that’s not the only indicator, and there are some signs of hearing impairment that are much less obvious:
- It’s hard to hear in noisy venues: Have you ever been to a busy or noisy space and had trouble following the conversation because of all the ambient noise? If this seems familiar you could be experiencing hearing loss. As your hearing progresses from healthy to impaired, one of the first warning signs is the loss of the ability to isolate specific sounds.
- Chronic ringing in your ears: A common sign of injured hearing is a ringing in the ears, also called tinnitus. If you’re experiencing some ringing that won’t stop, it may or may not be a sign of hearing loss. But it’s certainly an indication that you should schedule a hearing assessment.
- It sounds like everybody’s always mumbling: Sometimes, it’s not loss of volume you have to be concerned with, it’s a loss of distinction. One of the first indications of hearing loss is difficulty following conversations. If you notice this happening more often, you might want to schedule a hearing exam.
- You always miss alerts for text messages: Your phone (or mobile device, as they’re called now) is made to be loud. So if you keep finding text messages or calls that you missed, it’s probably because you didn’t hear them. And if you’re unable to hear your mobile device, what else are you missing?
This list isn’t exhaustive, here are a few more:
- It’s hard to determine the origin of sounds
- You’re experiencing episodes of vertigo
- You regularly use specific medications that are recognized to have an effect on your hearing.
- You have a buildup of ear wax you’re body can’t clear on your own
- Your ear hasn’t cleared after an infection
This checklist is by no means exhaustive. There are other instances of red flags (if, for example, the volume on your TV is maxed out and you still wish it could go just a little bit louder). It would be a smart plan to follow up on any of these symptoms.
But how should you deal with it when you’re not certain if you have any signs of hearing loss. Is there a guideline for how frequently you should schedule a hearing exam? With all of the other guidelines for everything, this one seems like a no-brainer. There are, in fact, some suggestions.
- Get a baseline assessment 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 healthy. That can be a huge chunk of time to pay attention to, so make sure they’re marked 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 every year.
Routine examinations can help you discover hearing loss before any red flags surface. You will have a better chance of preserving your hearing over time the sooner you get examined. Which means, you should probably turn down your TV and schedule a hearing test.