When should you have your hearing tested? You need a hearing test if you have any of these four signs.
Recently, my kids complained about how loud my TV was. Do you know what my response 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 lately. And that got me thinking that perhaps it’s time for a hearing test.
There aren’t really that many excuses not to make an appointment for a hearing exam. They’re not 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.
You should really be more diligent about keeping track of your hearing because, if left unchecked, it can affect your general health.
There are a lot of good reasons why hearing evaluations are essential. It’s often hard for you to observe the earliest signs of hearing loss without one, and even slight hearing impairment can impact your health.
So when should you have a hearing test? Here are some signs that it’s time.
Signs you should get a hearing test
It’s time to get a professional hearing test if you’ve been experiencing signs of hearing loss recently. Naturally, 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 impairment that are far less apparent:
- Persistent ringing in your ears: A common 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 it’s certainly 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 keep noticing text messages or calls that you missed, it’s probably because you couldn’t hear them. And maybe, when you think about it, you’re missing out on more common sounds.
- It seems as if people are mumbling when they talk: In some cases, it’s not loss of volume you have to be concerned with, it’s a loss of definition. Trouble making out conversations is one of the first signs that something is going wrong with your hearing. If you notice this happening more and more, you might want to make an appointment for a hearing exam.
- You have a hard time hearing when you’re in a loud environment: Have you ever had a hard time keeping up with conversations because of ambient 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 warning signs is the loss of the ability to identify specific sounds.
Here are a few other circumstances that show you should make an appointment for a hearing screening:
- You’re experiencing episodes of vertigo
- Your ear is still plugged after an ear infection
- You regularly use specific medications that are recognized to have an impact on your hearing.
- You can’t easily detect where specific sounds are coming from
- You have a buildup of ear wax you’re body can’t clear by itself
This list, clearly, is not extensive. 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). But any one of these signs is worth looking into.
But what if, to your awareness, you haven’t experienced any of these possible symptoms of hearing impairment? So how often should you have your hearing checked? There’s a guideline for everything, right, so there’s got to be a guideline for this. There are, in fact, some suggestions.
- Sometime after you turn 21, you should have a hearing test. Then your mature hearing will have a standard.
- 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 long periods of time.
- If you show signs of hearing loss, you will want to have it assessed immediately, and then annually after that.
Routine examinations can help you discover hearing loss before any warning signs appear. You will have a better chance of maintaining your hearing over time the sooner you get tested. So it’s time to pick up the phone and make an appointment for a hearing assessment.