Ear, Nose & Throat

How Do You Know If You Need a Hearing Test?

written by Becki Andrus
How Do You Know If You Should Get a Hearing Test?

Statistics from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders show that one in eight people over the age of 12 in the United States has hearing loss. Even though hearing loss is most common in older adults, there are many younger patients diagnosed with this condition.

Age Recommendations for Hearing Tests

Typically, hearing loss begins around the age of 60. So, in the past, it was common to begin hearing testing at this stage in life.

But since hearing loss is becoming more common in younger generations, experts recommend hearing tests for all ages. School-aged children should have hearing tests because the hearing loss has an undeniable impact that negatively affects education.

At the same time, it’s a good idea for patients in their 40s and 50s to maintain consistency with routine hearing evaluations. These checkups help identify signs of hearing loss in the earliest stages, allowing for early interventions and treatments when possible.

Signs You Should Schedule a Hearing Test

In addition to age recommendations, there are a few indications that you might benefit from scheduling a hearing test. Pay attention to your own behavior and symptoms, as well as the signs that loved ones might be exhibiting. Then, don’t hesitate to schedule a hearing test if you notice any of the following signs.

Turning Up the Volume on the Television

When you sit down to watch your favorite show, do you often have family and friends complaining that the volume is too loud? When hearing loss occurs, it’s common for a person to turn up the volume. When the volume is comfortable for you but too much for other people in the room, then it could be an indication of hearing loss.

Difficulty in Conversations

How often do you miss things that other people are saying or ask someone to repeat themselves? If you are having a hard time in conversations on a regular basis, then it could be happening because of hearing issues. These conversations will be even more difficult when background noise occurs, such as in a busy restaurant or in a venue with music playing.

Changing Body Position to Hear Others Talking

Also, pay attention to how your body position changes while talking with someone else. Do you always reposition to hear things? It could be a sign of hearing loss in one ear. Another body language cue is cupping the ear with a hand to help drown out the background noise.

Missing Notifications or Alarms

With hearing loss, you will notice more of an impact with specific tones and pitches. For example, you might not hear the doorbell, phone, or car alarms. If other people comment about the notifications, but you aren’t noticing the noises, scheduling a hearing checkup might be a good idea.

Exhaustion After Social Activities

One seemingly unrelated symptom of hearing loss is the way you feel after spending time in a social setting. If you are straining to hear during a conversation, it can result in fatigue and overtiredness that causes you to feel exhausted more quickly than normal.

Difficulty Distinguishing Multiple Voices

Another conversation nuance that could be a sign of hearing loss is when you have difficulty keeping track of multiple voices. Do you find that you can’t tell who is talking at the dinner table because it’s hard to tell where the sounds are coming from? Then you might need a hearing test.

Ringing in the Ears

Sometimes, hearing loss causes other unexpected noises in your ears. Tinnitus is a common condition that might come and go as you lose hearing – but tinnitus isn’t always a sign of hearing loss. Possible symptoms of tinnitus include ringing, clicking, buzzing, or hissing in the ears.

Everyone Seems to Be Mumbling

Are you frustrated because it seems like everyone is mumbling when talking to you? If you are often asking others to speak clearly, then it could be an indication of hearing loss. Additionally, it might be harder to hear higher or lower-pitch voices, depending on the range of hearing loss you are experiencing.

Feelings of Isolation

The difficulties in conversations and social settings can take a toll, often making hearing loss patients feel isolated or depressed. You might feel like other people are frustrated with you because you are constantly asking them to repeat themselves. Sometimes, hearing loss patients feel that avoiding social activities or noisy gatherings is easier, which can result in isolation and loneliness.

There Is Hope: Schedule a Hearing Test

Can you relate to any of these symptoms of hearing loss? Then it could be a sign that you should schedule an evaluation to test your hearing. A quick test can offer valuable information to help you determine if treatment or hearing aids are needed.

First, the audiologist will take a look at your ears to see if there is a buildup of wax. Then, different methods can be used to measure the function of the ears.

You will be asked to identify different pitches and sounds, including which ear you hear the noises. Other tests look at speech perception, and you will be asked to repeat a series of words.

Treatments to Improve Hearing

Just because your hearing test shows some problems doesn’t necessarily mean that you must wear hearing aids. Instead, there are times when basic treatments can make a difference in improving your hearing. For example, sometimes hearing is affected by something as simple as a buildup of wax, which means hearing will return when the wax is cleaned out of the ears.

If hearing aids are recommended, you can have confidence in knowing that technological advancements have made these tools more comfortable and convenient than ever before.

In the past, hearing aids were bulky and squeaky. Now, the technology is nearly invisible, with small devices that can be worn in or over the ears to amplify sounds. Additionally, many hearing aids have Bluetooth capabilities, allowing you to connect to your smartphone or other devices.

Audiologist and ENT Services: Schedule a Hearing Test

Are you located in Collin County or Dallas and want to schedule a hearing test? Then reach out to our Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat team to learn more about available services. We offer hearing tests and various treatments to help you optimize your hearing and improve your overall quality of life.

For more information, schedule an exam at a Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat office in Plano or Frisco, TX. Complete our online form for an appointment request, or call our team at your convenience: (972) 596-4005.

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