When Should I Get my Hearing Examined?

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 test if you have any of these four signs.

I guess my TV is regularly cranked up to the point where my kids recently complained. You know what my response was? I said, “What”? It was a joke. I thought it was funny. But it also wasn’t. I have needed to turn the TV up increasingly louder as of late. And I began to wonder: should I get a hearing test?

There aren’t really that many reasons not to make an appointment 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 made time for it.

Considering how much neglected hearing loss can impact your health, you really should be more diligent about making sure your hearing loss hasn’t worsened.

There are a lot of good reasons why hearing evaluations are essential. Even mild hearing loss can have an affect on your health and it’s nearly impossible to recognize early hearing loss without a hearing examination.

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

Signs you should get a hearing test

If you’ve recently experienced any of the symptoms of hearing loss, it’s definitely a smart idea to get a professional hearing screening. Clearly, it’s a powerful indication of hearing loss if you’re having a hard time hearing.

But that’s not the only symptom, and there are some signs of hearing impairment that are much less obvious:

  • Ringing that won’t go away: A common sign of injured hearing is a ringing in the ears, also known as tinnitus. Ringing in the ear might or might not point to hearing loss. But it’s definitely an indication that you should schedule a hearing exam.
  • You don’t always hear alerts for text messages: Your cellphone (or mobile device, as they’re called these days) is made to be loud. So if you’re constantly missing calls or text messages, it may be because you can’t hear them. And perhaps, when you think about it, you’re missing out on more everyday sounds.
  • It sounds like everyone’s always mumbling: Sometimes, it’s not loss of volume you need to worry about, it’s a loss of distinction. 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 assessment if you notice this happening more and more often.
  • You have a difficult time hearing when you’re in a noisy setting: Have you ever been to a crowded or noisy space and had difficulty following the conversation because of all the ambient noise? That could actually be a sign of hearing loss. Being able to identify sounds is one indication of healthy hearing; this ability tends to decline as hearing loss worsens.

Here are some other situations that indicate you should make an appointment for a hearing screening:

  • You have an ear infection and it won’t go away
  • You frequently use specific medications that are known to have an impact on your hearing.
  • You have an accumulation of ear wax you’re body can’t clear by itself
  • You can’t readily detect where particular sounds are coming from
  • You’re experiencing episodes of vertigo

This checklist is certainly not exhaustive. For example, if your TV’s volume is at max and you still can’t hear it. It would be a good plan to follow up on any of these signs.

Regular examinations

But how should you deal with it when you’re not sure if you have any signs of hearing loss. 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 normal, have hearing examinations or tests every three years or so. But be 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 have it tested right away, and then annually after that.

It will be easier to discover any hearing loss before any warning signs become apparent with routine screenings. You will have a better chance of preserving your hearing over time the sooner you get tested. So it’s time to pick up the phone and schedule a hearing examination.

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.