You schedule regular blood labs, optometry visits and routine physical exams. But how often do you have your hearing tested? If you’re like most Australians, the answer probably is ‘not often enough.’
Experts recommend that most people have their hearing tested as needed throughout their childhood and adulthood. So how do you know when you need a new test?
In this blog, we list five signs that you should have your hearing tested.
- You Experience Tinnitus
Ringing in the ears, medically known as tinnitus, can result from a number of factors. But the presence of ringing means that you have a higher risk of hearing loss. Tinnitus may manifest with any of the following:
- Hearing disruptions
Once you have a diagnosis of tinnitus, your hearing professional may recommend regular hearing tests to help manage the condition.
To learn more about this specific condition, read our Understanding Tinnitus page.
- Your Family Says You Turn the Volume Up Too High
Individuals with hearing loss often have trouble hearing recorded sounds clearly. You may notice that you have to turn the volume up on your phone, computer or television more each time you use it. You may also feel the need to sit closer to a television or computer when using it.
Additionally, other people who watch film or listen to music with you may ask that you turn the volume down. If your family frequently complains that you keep the volume too high, have your hearing tested.
- You Frequently Have to Ask People to Repeat Themselves
If you have hearing trouble, you may also experience difficulty understanding people when they talk. This difficulty may result in you having to ask people to repeat themselves often.
Over time, you may find yourself avoiding social interactions because you feel unable to communicate efficiently.
Most people with hearing loss have specific trouble hearing people with the following characteristics:
- Children, especially those still developing their language skills
- People who mumble or speak quietly on a regular basis
- Women with high-pitched voices
If you feel like you constantly have to ask that people repeat what they say, schedule a hearing test.
- You Have Difficulty Understanding Phone Calls
Like recorded sounds, phone calls can prove particularly difficult for people with hearing problems. Phone calls pose a specific issue because you cannot seek the person speak, which can help your brain decipher sounds you didn’t hear clearly.
If you actively avoid phone calls or feel like you must spend extra time on calls to ensure that you understand the other party, consider having your hearing tested.
- You’re Over 55 and Haven’t Been Tested in a Year
For most of your life, ‘as needed’ hearing tests provide sufficient diagnosis of hearing loss. However, as you age, your risk of hearing loss becomes substantially greater.
Once you reach the age of 55, hearing experts recommend that you schedule a routine test every year.
If you’re 55 or older and have not been tested for 12 months or more, set up a basic hearing test as soon as possible. This test provides a baseline for your hearing capabilities, which makes it easier to detect future issues.
You can have your hearing tested at a specialist’s centre or in an ear, nose and throat doctor’s office. If you get hearing aids or other hearing implements through a specific medical professional, schedule your appointment with him or her.
If you notice one or more of the symptoms listed above, set an appointment as soon as you’re able.
For more information about ear health and hearing loss, visit our blog section.