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

When should you have your hearing tested? You need a hearing exam if you have any of these four warning signs.

The other day, my kids complained about how loud my TV was. Do you know what my response was? I said, “What”? It was funny. Because it was a joke. But, in reality, it was anything but funny. I have needed to turn the TV up louder and louder as of late. And that got me thinking that perhaps it’s time for a hearing test.

There aren’t all that many reasons not to schedule yourself 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 keeping track of your hearing because, if left untreated, it can impact your overall health.

There are lots of good reasons why hearing evaluations are important. It’s often difficult for you to identify 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 indications that it’s time.

Signs you should get a hearing test

If you’ve recently experienced any of the signs of hearing loss, it’s probably a smart idea to get a professional hearing exam. Obviously, 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 loss that are far less apparent:

  • It’s difficult to hear in noisy places: Have you ever been to a busy or noisy space and had trouble hearing the conversation because of all the ambient noise? If this sounds familiar you could be experiencing hearing loss. Being able to isolate sounds is one indication of a healthy ear; this ability tends to wane as hearing loss progresses.
  • You don’t always hear alerts for text messages: Your cellphone (or mobile device, as they’re called these days) is designed to be loud. So if you keep finding text messages or calls that you missed, it’s most likely because you couldn’t hear them. And maybe, when you think about it, you’re failing to hear more common sounds.
  • It seems as if people are mumbling when they speak: Sometimes, it’s not loss of volume you have to worry about, it’s a loss of definition. Difficulty following along with conversations is one of the first signs that something is going wrong with your hearing. If you experience this happening more often, you may want to schedule a hearing exam.
  • Ringing that won’t go away: Ringing in your ears, which is called tinnitus, is typically a symptom of hearing damage. If you’re dealing with some ringing that won’t stop, it may or may not be a symptom of hearing loss. But it’s definitely a sign that you should schedule a hearing exam.

Here are a few other circumstances that indicate you should schedule a hearing exam:

  • you’re experiencing an ear infection and it won’t clear up
  • You can’t easily detect where specific sounds are originating
  • You’re experiencing episodes of vertigo
  • You regularly use specific medications that are known to have an effect on your hearing.
  • You have a buildup of ear wax you’re body can’t clear by itself

This list, clearly, is not thorough. There are other examples of red flags (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 signs is worth looking into.

Regular 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 frequently you should go get 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 need to get a hearing assessment. That way, you’ll have a standard of your mature hearing.
  • Every three years or so will be a good schedule if your hearing seems healthy. But be sure you note these appointments in your calendar or medical records because it’s easy to forget over these large periods of time.
  • You’ll want to get checked immediately if you notice any signs of hearing loss and after that once every year.

It will be easier to identify any hearing loss before any warning signs become obvious with routine examinations. The earlier you seek treatment, the better you’ll be able to maintain your hearing in the long run. So it’s time to pick up the phone and make an appointment for 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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