When is it time to get a hearing exam? Here are four signs that you should get your hearing checked.
I guess my TV is frequently turned 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, in reality, 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 assessment.
There aren’t all that many reasons 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.
Considering how much neglected hearing loss can impact your health, you really should be more vigilant about making sure your hearing impairment hasn’t gotten worse.
There are a lot of good reasons why hearing assessments are important. It’s usually hard for you to identify 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 indications that it’s time.
Signs you should have your hearing tested
It’s time to get a professional hearing assessment if you’ve been experiencing symptoms of hearing loss recently. Obviously, if things are difficult to hear, that’s a pretty strong indication of hearing loss.
But that’s not the only indicator, and there are some signs of hearing impairment that are much less obvious:
- Ringing that won’t go away: Ringing in your ears, which goes by the name of tinnitus, is frequently a symptom of hearing damage. 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 a sign that you should schedule a hearing exam.
- You have a difficult time hearing when you’re in a noisy setting: Have you ever been to a busy or loud room and had trouble hearing the conversation because of all the background noise? That may actually be an indication of hearing loss. As your hearing goes from healthy to impaired, one of the first signs is the loss of the ability to isolate specific sounds.
- 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 continuously missing calls or text messages, it may be because you can’t hear them. And maybe, when you think about it, you’re missing out on more everyday sounds.
- It sounds like everyone’s mumbling all the time: Sometimes, it’s not loss of volume you need to worry about, it’s a loss of distinction. Trouble following along with conversations is one of the first signs that something is going bad with your hearing. It may be time for a hearing assessment if you detect this occurring more and more often.
This list is not thorough, here are a few more:
- You’re experiencing episodes of vertigo
- You take certain medications that can damage your hearing
- You have an ear infection and it won’t go away
- You have a buildup of ear wax you’re body can’t clear on your own
- It’s difficult to determine the source of sounds
This checklist, obviously, isn’t thorough. For example, if your TV’s volume is at max and you still can’t hear it. But any one of these symptoms is worth looking into.
But how should you cope with it when you’re not certain if you have any signs of hearing loss. So how often should you have your hearing screened? With all of the other guidelines for everything else, this one seems like a no-brainer. Well, yes, there are recommendations.
- Get a primary exam done sometime after you’re 21. Then your mature hearing will have a baseline.
- If your hearing is healthy, have hearing examinations or tests every three years or so. That can be a huge chunk of time to pay attention to, so make certain they’re marked in your medical records somewhere.
- If you show signs of hearing loss, you will want to get it checked right away, and then annually after that.
It will be easier to discover any hearing loss before any red flags become apparent with routine examinations. You will have a better chance of protecting your hearing over time the sooner you get checked. Which means, you should probably turn your TV down and make an appointment for a hearing assessment.