When is it time to have your hearing checked? Here are four clues that you should get your hearing assessed.
I guess my TV is frequently cranked up to the point where my kids recently complained. You know what I said to them? I said, “What”? It was funny. Because it was a joke. But, in reality, it was anything but funny. The TV has been getting louder and louder. And I started to ask myself: should I have my hearing tested?
There aren’t really that many excuses not to schedule yourself for a hearing test. Hearing assessments don’t cause you any discomfort, they’re non-invasive, and there isn’t any radiation. It’s really just that you haven’t put aside time to do it.
Considering how much untreated hearing loss can affect your health, you really should be more diligent about making sure your hearing loss hasn’t worsened.
Hearing assessments are essential for many reasons. It’s often challenging for you to observe the earliest signs of hearing loss without one, and even slight hearing impairment can impact your health.
So how can you recognize if you should make an appointment? Here are some signs that it’s time.
Signs you should have your hearing tested
It’s time to get a professional hearing assessment if you’ve been noticing symptoms of hearing loss recently. Obviously, if things are difficult to hear, that’s a pretty solid indication of hearing loss.
But some of the other signs of hearing loss are more subtle:
- Ringing that won’t go away: A typical sign of injured hearing is a ringing in the ears, also known as tinnitus. If you’re experiencing some ringing that won’t stop, it may or may not be a symptom of hearing loss. But if the ringing won’t go away, you should absolutely come see us for a hearing assessment.
- It seems like people are mumbling when they talk: Often, it’s clearness not volume you need to be concerned about. One of the first signs of hearing loss is difficulty following conversations. It may be time for a hearing test if you notice this happening more and more frequently.
- You’re always missing text messages: Your phone (or mobile device, as they’re called now) is designed to be loud. So if you’re frequently missing calls or text messages, it might be because you can’t hear them. And maybe, when you think about it, you’re missing out on more common sounds.
- You have a hard time hearing when you’re in a noisy setting: Have you ever been to a busy or loud space and had difficulty hearing the conversation because of all the background noise? That could actually be an indication of hearing loss. Being able to identify sounds is one indication of a healthy ear; this ability tends to wane as hearing loss worsens.
This list isn’t thorough, here are a few more:
- You take specific medications that can harm your hearing
- You experience vertigo
- Your ears aren’t clearing earwax thoroughly
- It’s challenging to pinpoint the source of sounds
- Your ear hasn’t cleared after an infection
This checklist is certainly not exhaustive. There are other instances of red flags (if, for example, the volume on your TV is maxed out and you still want it to go just a little louder). But any one of these signs is worth following up on.
But what if, to your knowledge, you haven’t encountered any of these potential signs of hearing loss? Is there a guideline for how often you should go get your hearing checked? With all of the other guidelines for everything, this one seems like a no-brainer. There are, in fact, some recommendations.
- Get a primary exam done sometime after you’re 21. Then your mature hearing will have a baseline.
- If your hearing is normal, undergo hearing screenings or tests every three years or so. 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 annually after that.
It will be easier to discover any hearing loss before any red flags become obvious with routine screenings. You will have a better chance of preserving your hearing over time the sooner you get checked. Which means, you should probably turn down your TV and schedule a hearing test.