Woman with short curly hair reading about hearing tests on her phone contemplating scheduling and exam

When is it time to have your hearing checked? You need a hearing test if you have any of these four warning signs.

I guess my TV is regularly turned up to the point where my kids recently complained. You know what my response was? 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 I began to ask myself: should I get 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 have to worry about discomfort. It’s really just that you haven’t put aside time to do it.

You should really be more diligent about staying on top of your hearing because, if left unchecked, it can impact your general health.

There are lots of good reasons why hearing assessments are essential. It’s often difficult for you to discover the earliest signs of hearing loss without one, and even slight hearing loss can affect your health.

So how will you know if you should make an appointment? Here are some signs that it’s time.

You should have your hearing tested if you notice these signs

If you’ve recently observed any of the symptoms of hearing loss, it’s probably a good plan to get a professional hearing screening. Clearly, it’s a strong 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 far less apparent:

  • It’s tough to hear in noisy places: Have you ever been to a crowded or loud room and had difficulty hearing the conversation because of all the ambient noise? That may actually be a sign of hearing loss. As your hearing goes from healthy to impaired, one of the first warning signs is the loss of the ability to isolate specific sounds.
  • You don’t always hear alerts for text messages: Your phone (or mobile device, as they’re called now) is made to be loud. So if you’re frequently missing calls or text messages, it may be because you aren’t hearing them. And maybe, when you think about it, you’re failing to hear more everyday sounds.
  • It seems as if people are mumbling when they speak: In some cases, it’s not loss of volume you have to worry about, it’s a loss of definition. One of the first symptoms of hearing loss is trouble following conversations. It may be time for a hearing screening if you detect this occurring more and more frequently.
  • Chronic ringing in your ears: Ringing in your ears, which goes by the name of tinnitus, is frequently a symptom of hearing damage. Ringing in the ear might or might not point to hearing loss. But if the ringing won’t clear itself up, you should definitely come see us for a hearing evaluation.

Here are a few other circumstances that show you should make an appointment for a hearing screening:

  • You have vertigo
  • You frequently use certain medications that are recognized to have an impact on your hearing.
  • You have an ear infection and it won’t clear up
  • You can’t readily identify where specific sounds are coming from
  • You have an accumulation of ear wax you’re body can’t clear on your own

This list is certainly not exhaustive. There are other instances 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). But any one of these symptoms is worth following up on.

Routine examinations

But what if, to your awareness, you haven’t experienced any of these possible symptoms of hearing impairment? 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.

  • Sometime after you turn 21, you need to have a hearing assessment. That way, you’ll have a standard of your mature hearing.
  • If your hearing is healthy, have hearing screenings or tests every three years or so. 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 assessed right away if you detect any signs of hearing loss and after that once a year.

It will be easier to discover any hearing loss before any red flags become obvious with regular 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.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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