When is it time to have your hearing checked? Here are four clues that you need to get your hearing checked.
I guess my TV is frequently cranked up to the point where my kids recently complained. Do you know what I said to them? I said, “What”? It was a joke. I thought it was funny. But it also wasn’t. I have needed to turn the TV up increasingly louder as of late. And I began to ask myself: should I have my hearing tested?
It really doesn’t make much sense to neglect getting a hearing test. 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.
Considering how much untreated hearing loss can impact your health, you really should be more vigilant about making sure your hearing loss hasn’t gotten worse.
Hearing exams are important for many reasons. Even slight hearing loss can have an impact on your health and it’s virtually impossible to recognize early hearing loss without a hearing examination.
So when should you get a hearing test? Here are several ways to know if you need to come see us.
You should get your hearing tested if you observe these signs
It’s time to get a professional hearing assessment if you’ve been noticing signs of hearing loss recently. Naturally, if things are difficult to hear, that’s a pretty solid indication of hearing loss.
But some of the other indications of hearing loss are more subtle:
- Persistent ringing in your ears: A typical sign of damaged hearing is a ringing in the ears, also known as tinnitus. If you’re dealing with some ringing that won’t go away, it may or may not be a symptom of hearing loss. But it’s certainly an indication that you should schedule a hearing assessment.
- It seems as if people are mumbling when they talk: In some cases, it’s not loss of volume you need to worry about, it’s a loss of definition. One of the earlier symptoms of hearing loss is trouble making out conversations. It might be time for a hearing assessment if you detect this happening more and more frequently.
- You have a difficult time hearing when you’re in a loud setting: Have you ever been to a crowded or noisy space and had difficulty following the conversation because of all the background noise? That could actually be an indication of hearing loss. Being able to identify sounds is one sign of a healthy ear; this ability tends to diminish as hearing loss worsens.
- You always miss alerts for text messages: Your cellphone (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 couldn’t hear them. And if you can’t hear your mobile device, what else are you missing?
This list isn’t exhaustive, here are a few more:
- You frequently use certain medications that are recognized to have an effect on your hearing.
- Your ears aren’t clearing earwax completely
- you’re experiencing an ear infection and it won’t clear up
- You’re experiencing episodes of vertigo
- It’s challenging to determine the origin of sounds
This checklist is in no way exhaustive. There are other instances of red flags (if, for instance, the volume on your TV is maxed out and you still want it to go just a little bit louder). It would be a smart idea to look into any of these symptoms.
But what if, to your knowledge, you haven’t encountered any of these possible signs of hearing loss? So how often should you get your hearing screened? There’s a guideline for everything, right, so there’s got to be a guideline for this. There are, actually, some recommendations.
- Sometime after you turn 21, you should get a hearing assessment. Then your mature hearing will have a baseline.
- Every three years or so will be a practical schedule if your hearing seems normal. But make sure you note these appointments in your calendar or medical records because it’s easy to forget over these huge periods of time.
- If you notice signs of hearing loss, you will want to have it tested right away, and then yearly after that.
Regular examinations can help you discover hearing loss before any warning signs surface. The earlier you find treatment, the better you’ll be able to protect your hearing in the long run. Which means, you should probably turn down your TV and schedule a hearing test.