Your hearing health is something that you should get used to the idea of protecting, especially if you’re starting to get a little older. A lot of people ignore hearing symptoms, expecting them to be temporary, but often because they’re nervous about getting a hearing loss diagnosis. However, it is going to affect 10% of us in our lifetimes, so it’s not something to treat as some far-out idea.
Your hearing health professional can help you treat hearing loss with great effectiveness, especially with the help of technology such as hearing aids. However, in order to get that treatment, you should know when it’s time to get your ears checked out. Here are a few signs that it might be time to do just that.
The signs that something is up with your hearing
The number one reason to have your hearing checked out, naturally, if you think there is something wrong with your hearing. Sudden changes in your hearing might be a cause for concern in just about anyone but, often, the signs of hearing loss are a lot subtler and more long-term than that. Find out more about some of the signs of hearing loss, such as if you start to find that you have trouble communicating with or understanding others, or if you find that you always have to turn the television or radio up in order to understand them.
If there are any changes with your hearing at all, then you should make sure that you get them checked out by your hearing health professional. The sooner you get it checked out, the better your chances of preventing further hearing loss.
Even if you suspect that the changes are short-term, you should still get them checked out. When you learn more about hearing tests, you find out it’s about more than just diagnosing hearing loss. Your hearing health professional will also take a look inside your ears to make sure that there aren’t any other problems that might give you trouble, such as earwax impactions, fluid build-ups, or ear infections that could make things worse down the road.
Know your risk factors
You might not be experiencing any of the symptoms above or may not have noticed any changes in your hearing. However, if you experience some of the risk factors most associated with hearing loss, then the fact is that there is a higher probability of you having it without even noticing it.
Some of the risk factors that should encourage you to get your hearing checked out should include extreme or continuous exposure to loud noise, being over the age of 50, or having other long-term health issues such as sleep apnea and iron deficiency which are commonly linked to hearing loss. Some prescription medications can also affect your hearing, especially any medication that manages blood pressure.
Of course, if you have one or even all of these risk factors, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to be experiencing hearing loss. It just means that the chances are higher, so it’s worth taking the time to make a hearing test part of your yearly physical just to keep on top of it and make sure that you’re in optimal health.
Have a baseline test if you haven’t had one
You might not be having any problems with your hearing, may not have noticed any changes, and may find that none of the above risk factors apply to you at all. However, you might still need to arrange for a hearing test. If you have never had a hearing test before or you were a child in elementary school the last time that you had one, then you might want to schedule what is called a baseline test.
The baseline test is, as it sounds, a test that is supposed to serve as a base to which all of your other tests will be compared to. It’s best to get this test when you are a young adult but even if you’re beyond that, it is still worth arranging for one. The means that when you have other hearing tests in the future, your hearing health professional will be able to compare it with past results to more accurately see if there have been any changes in your hearing.
To put it simply, for most people, now may be the right time to have a hearing test, either because you’ve been experiencing symptoms that warrant it, because some of the risk factors of hearing loss apply to you, or simply because it’s been a long time since you’ve had one, if at all. Consider making an appointment with your local hearing health professional.