Should I Get a Hearing Assessment?

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? Here are four clues that you should get your hearing assessed.

Recently, my kids complained about how loud my TV was. And guess what I said. I said, “What”? It was a joke. I thought it was funny. But, in reality, it was anything but funny. The TV has been getting louder and louder. And I started to wonder: should I have my hearing tested?

It really doesn’t make much sense to avoid getting a hearing assessment. They aren’t 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.

You should really be more diligent about keeping track of your hearing because, if left unchecked, it can impact your overall health.

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

So when should you have your hearing tested? Here are some indications that it’s time.

Signs you should have your hearing tested

If you’ve recently encountered any of the signs of hearing loss, it’s probably a smart plan to get a professional hearing exam. Clearly, it’s a strong indication of hearing loss if you’re having a difficult time hearing.

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

  • It seems as if people are mumbling when they talk: In some cases, it’s not loss of volume you need to worry about, it’s a loss of definition. 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 frequently.
  • You don’t always hear alerts for text messages: Mobile devices are made to be loud enough for you to hear. So if you keep noticing text messages or calls that you failed to hear, it’s most likely because you didn’t hear them. And if you can’t hear your mobile device, what else are you missing?
  • You have a tough time hearing when you’re in a loud setting: Have you ever been to a busy or loud room and had trouble following the conversation because of all the background noise? If this sounds familiar you could be developing hearing loss. Being able to identify sounds is one sign of healthy hearing; this ability tends to diminish as hearing loss advances.
  • Persistent ringing in your ears: A common sign of damaged hearing is a ringing in the ears, also called tinnitus. If you’re experiencing some ringing that won’t stop, it may or may not be a sign of hearing loss. But it’s definitely a sign that you should schedule a hearing exam.

This list is not thorough, here are a few more:

  • Your ears aren’t clearing earwax thoroughly
  • You take specific medications that can damage your hearing
  • Your ear hasn’t cleared after an infection
  • You’re experiencing episodes of vertigo
  • You can’t easily detect where particular sounds are originating

This list is in no way exhaustive. For example, if your TV’s volume is maxed and you still can’t hear it. But any one of these signs is worth looking into.

Regular checkups

But how should you cope with it when you’re not sure if you have any symptoms of hearing loss. So how frequently should you get your hearing tested? There’s a guideline for everything else, right, so there’s got to be a guideline for this. Well, yes, there are suggestions.

  • Sometime after you turn 21, you need to have a hearing assessment. Then your mature hearing will have a baseline.
  • If your hearing is healthy, undergo 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 huge periods of time.
  • If you notice signs of hearing loss, you will want to have it assessed right away, and then yearly after that.

Routine screenings can help you discover hearing loss before any warning signs develop. You will have a better chance of preserving your hearing over time the sooner you get tested. Which means, you should probably turn down your TV and schedule a hearing assessment.

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.