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

When should you get a hearing test? You need a hearing exam if you have any of these four signs.

I guess my TV is regularly turned up to the point where my kids recently complained. And guess what my reply was. I said, “What”? It was humorous. Because it was a joke. But, in reality, it was anything but funny. I have needed to turn the TV up increasingly louder as of late. And that got me thinking that perhaps it’s time for a hearing test.

There aren’t all that many excuses not to make an appointment for a hearing test. Hearing tests don’t cause you any discomfort, they’re non-invasive, and there’s no 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 vigilant about making sure your hearing loss hasn’t gotten worse.

Hearing evaluations are important for a wide variety of reasons. It’s usually difficult for you to identify the earliest indications of hearing loss without one, and even mild hearing loss can affect your health.

So when should you have a hearing test? Here are a few ways to know if you need to come see us.

You should get your hearing tested if you notice these signs

If you’ve recently experienced any of the symptoms of hearing loss, it’s definitely a good plan to get a professional hearing exam. Naturally, if things are hard to hear, that’s a pretty strong indication of hearing loss.

But some of the other signs of hearing loss are more subtle:

  • Persistent ringing in your ears: A typical sign of injured hearing is a ringing in the ears, also known as tinnitus. If you’re dealing with some ringing that won’t go away, it might or might not be a symptom of hearing loss. But if the ringing won’t go away, you should absolutely come see us for a hearing evaluation.
  • You have a tough time hearing when you’re in a loud environment: Have you ever had a hard time keeping up with conversations because of ambient noise in a crowded room? If this sounds familiar you could be developing hearing loss. Being able to identify sounds is one sign of a healthy ear; this ability tends to decline as hearing loss progresses.
  • You don’t always hear alerts for text messages: Your phone (or mobile device, as they’re called these days) is made to be loud. So if you’re continuously missing calls or text messages, it may be because you aren’t hearing them. And perhaps, when you think about it, you’re missing out on more common sounds.
  • It sounds like everyone’s always mumbling: Often, it’s clearness not volume you need to be concerned about. Difficulty 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 exam if you detect this occurring more and more frequently.

Here are a few other situations that show you should make an appointment for a hearing evaluation:

  • you’re experiencing an ear infection and it won’t clear up
  • You experience vertigo
  • You regularly use specific medications that are known to have an impact on your hearing.
  • Your ears aren’t removing earwax completely
  • You can’t easily determine where particular sounds are originating

This checklist is by no means exhaustive. There are other instances of red flags (if, for example, the volume on your TV is maxed out and you still wish it could go just a little bit louder). It would be a good idea to follow up on any of these symptoms.

Routine checkups

But what if, to your awareness, you haven’t encountered any of these potential symptoms of hearing impairment? So how often should you get your hearing checked? With all of the other guidelines for everything, this one seems like a no-brainer. Well, yes, there are recommendations.

  • Sometime after you turn 21, you need to get a hearing assessment. That way, you’ll have a baseline of your mature hearing.
  • If your hearing is healthy, undergo hearing examinations 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 long periods of time.
  • If you notice signs of hearing loss, you will want to get 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. The earlier you find treatment, the better you’ll be able to maintain your hearing into the future. Which means, you should probably turn down your TV and schedule a hearing assessment.

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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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