When Should I Get my Hearing Tested?

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 test if you have any of these four warning signs.

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 it also wasn’t. I have needed to turn the TV up louder and louder as of late. And I began to wonder: should I have my hearing tested?

It really doesn’t make much sense to neglect getting a hearing test. Hearing assessments don’t cause you any discomfort, they’re non-invasive, and there’s no radiation. It’s really just that you haven’t made time for it.

You should really be more vigilant about staying on top of your hearing because, if left unchecked, it can impact your overall health.

There are lots of good reasons why hearing assessments are important. Even slight hearing loss can have an impact on your health and it’s virtually impossible to recognize early hearing loss without a hearing test.

So when should you have a hearing test? Here are some signs that it’s time.

Signs you should get a hearing test

It’s time to get a professional hearing assessment if you’ve been experiencing signs of hearing loss recently. Naturally, if things are difficult to hear, that’s a pretty solid indication of hearing loss.

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

  • It seems like people are mumbling when they talk: Sometimes, it’s clearness not volume you have to worry about. One of the first indications of hearing loss is trouble making out conversations. If you experience this happening more often, you might want to make an appointment for a hearing test.
  • You’re always missing text messages: Your cellphone (or mobile device, as they’re called now) is designed to be loud. So if you keep finding text messages or calls that you missed, it’s probably because you couldn’t hear them. And if you’re unable to hear your mobile device, what else might you be missing?
  • You have a difficult time hearing when you’re in a noisy environment: Have you ever been to a busy or loud room and had difficulty hearing the conversation because of all the ambient noise? If this seems familiar you could be experiencing hearing loss. As your hearing progresses from healthy to impaired, one of the first warning signs is the loss of the ability to isolate specific sounds.
  • Ringing that won’t go away: A common sign of injured hearing is a ringing in the ears, also called tinnitus. Ringing in the ear might or might not indicate hearing loss. But it’s certainly an indication that you should schedule a hearing test.

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

  • You can’t easily detect where specific sounds are coming from
  • You take specific medications that can harm your hearing
  • You have vertigo
  • You have a buildup of ear wax you’re body can’t clear by itself
  • you’re experiencing an ear infection and it won’t go away

This checklist is certainly not 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). But any one of these signs is worth following up on.

Routine examinations

But what if, to your knowledge, you haven’t encountered any of these possible symptoms of hearing loss? Is there a guideline for how often you should schedule a hearing exam? With all of the other guidelines for everything, this one seems like a no-brainer. Well, yes, there are recommendations.

  • Get a baseline test done sometime after you’re 21. That way, you’ll have a baseline of your mature hearing.
  • If your hearing is healthy, have hearing examinations or tests every three years or so. That can be a long time to pay attention to, so make certain they’re noted in your medical records somewhere.
  • 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 identify any hearing loss before any warning signs become obvious with regular examinations. You will have a better chance of preserving your hearing over time the sooner you get examined. Which means, you should probably turn your TV down 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.