Signs You Need a Hearing Test [Plus What To Expect]
Wondering if a hearing test is in the cards for you? Here are some of the top signs that you could benefit from this service.
Hearing is a vital sense that ties directly into our quality of life – yet few people pay any mind to audiological health until something starts to go wrong.
The most important thing is to act quickly if you think there is something wrong with your hearing so that a specialist can address the problem and either diagnose or rule out a broader issue with your health.
But how do you know you could benefit for a hearing test?
It can be hard to decide to take this leap, but the steps are actually quite easy and worthwhile of the effort. To help, we’re going to go through the most common signs that you need a hearing test and what you can expect from the experience.
If you want to learn more about hearing tests, check out our resources:
Signs you need a hearing test and what to watch for
When it comes to your health, there’s no reason to put off any critical tests that could help your well being. If you have any questions about your hearing or whether you should go for a hearing test, you can always talk to your general practitioner about your concerns and get their opinion on the subject.
There are also some common signs you need a hearing test or could benefit from one. These could prompt you to talk to your healthcare professional or seek out a hearing and audiology specialist to rule out or address any issues you are encountering.
Keep in mind, hearing tests differ for each age group:
Here are some of the top signs you can look for in your own life to evaluate your personal needs.
#1 – Turning up the volume
Consider whether things you used to hear before without issue are becoming more of a challenge for you.
The easiest indicator of this can be whether you find yourself turning the volume up on the television or the radio beyond what you typically use. If you’re actively cranking up the sound or finding yourself in a sparing match over the remote control over the volume, chances are you could benefit from a hearing test to rule out any issues.
#2 – Craning your neck
Starting to feel sore?
It could be from constant or consistent twisting and craning of your neck and torso to try to hear things better. Try to pay attention to your overall posture and notice whether you are repositioning your body in order to try to hear better. If you’re stretching out to get a better access to the sounds and voices around you, a hearing test might be the way to go.
#3 – Missing out on sounds
Some sounds can’t be turned up, like doorbells or phone ringers, beyond a specific threshold. So if you find yourself with a lot of missed calls or visits, it could be that you’re not hearing the alarms that are going off in real time.
Of course, triple check that there’s nothing wrong with your devices. Once you rule out technical errors, if you find yourself still missing out on these or similar sounds, hearing loss could be the culprit.
#4 – Ringing in your ears
Ringing, buzzing, or screeching noises in your ears can interfere with your ability to hear the sounds that matter most in your life. These can be caused by a condition called tinnitus, which can be caused by a number of health or environmental conditions. In some cases, it can be an indicator of broader hearing loss, making it important to have checked out to rule out addressable audiology concerns or health troubles.
#5 – Blending sounds together
Finding it hard to hear specific sounds or voices in a crowded space? Hearing loss is not always immediate or straightforward to detect. But if you have trouble picking up voices in conversation with background noise around you, chances are that you could be suffering from acute loss of hearing. A hearing test can help rule out other causes and also help you find a solution so you can get back to hearing things the way they’re meant to be heard.
#6 – Asking for a repeat
Sometimes the people around us notice our hearing loss much sooner than we notice it ourselves. After all, hearing loss can slowly occur over long periods of time. But our family and friends may take note of a few common signs, most of all if you ask them to repeat themselves frequently. If you’re questioning your own hearing, ask a trusted friend or confidant whether they have noticed you asking them to repeat what they say to you and in what sort of situations. If it’s in one-on-one conversation with minimal distraction, you may want to have your hearing checked.
What to expect during your hearing test
Different hearing and audiology specialists will use different tests to determine the level of hearing (or loss) that you have and how to best approach a solution for you. However, most tests take place in an outpatient office in a soundproof room so that you can focus on the task at hand.
The technician will likely work to determine the lowest and highest decibel sounds that you can detect with each ear to establish a threshold for your hearing. You may be asked to indicate which ear you hear a sound in or to repeat words that are spoken to you. They may also check the pressure in your ear with a dedicated device.
The good news is that hearing tests are painless and there’s no way for you do it wrong. Just pay attention to the instructions provided and feel free to ask questions along the way. Your specialist will do their best to put you at ease about the different steps along the way. They’ll also go over the results of your test with you in an easy to understand way so that you can work together to determine any applicable next steps.
Keep in mind that it is also possible that your audiologist may refer you to a specialist or general practitioner to help rule out any additional health conditions that could be impacting your hearing.
Choosing the right audiology specialist for your hearing test
You can always start by asking your family doctor, friends, or other family members for recommendations. They may have a practice in mind that they can suggest you reach out to for more information.
You can also do your research with your health insurance to find out whether a hearing test is covered. If so, your insurance company may be able to provide you with a list of audiologists or practices that are included in your coverage.
Whoever you narrow down the field to, you’ll want an audiologist with plenty of years of experience and a history of working with patients from all walks of life. Many hearing clinics will also have online reviews that you can explore to see what others in your situation experienced.
Look for a true audiologist, not just someone with a lesser qualification as an audiometrist. This is typically an indicator of the extent of the education that the provider has, and you’ll likely want to work with someone who has as much know how as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask about other qualifications and certifications as you narrow down your search.
Need help choosing your local provider? Find out how to choose the best hearing test conductor in Perth
Call Hearing & Audiology with your hearing test questions
Sometimes it simply helps to talk to a team of experts to determine whether a hearing test is right for you. That’s where Hearing & Audiology can help. Call us on (08) 9388 8003 to chat with our friendly, local staff and enquire as to whether a hearing test could be right for you. You can also find out what coverage you qualify for and what to expect from the process in any one of our offices throughout Western Australia.
The team at Hearing & Audiology has over 34 years of experience providing support for people suffering with hearing problems and loss. We’re local, Australia-trained, and dedicated to providing state-of-the-art hearing solutions to every one of our clients.