Find out if you’re due for a visit with your audiologist.
It can sometimes be difficult to know when to call in the experts to help with your health, especially when issues concern your hearing. It’s not always easy to keep track of your hearing changes unless they’re significant and sudden. So how do you know it’s time to see an audiologist?
Here are some top signs it’s time to see an audiologist:
- First noticing symptoms of hearing loss
- Experiencing tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ears)
- Wanting to use or adjust hearing aids
- Any pain or discomfort in the ears
- Getting earwax removed
- Suddenly having muffled hearing
- You’re due for a regular checkup
Keep reading to learn more about these signs it’s time to see an audiologist.
First noticing symptoms of hearing loss
Hearing loss can be common as we age, but these changes often occur slowly, so it’s not always clear when they’re happening or when they started. Be on the lookout for signs like:
- Having to turn the TV volume higher than you used to
- Having trouble hearing people when they’re speaking, particularly women and children
- You’re asking people to repeat themselves more often
- You have difficulty understanding people over the phone
- You notice achiness in your ears
Learn more about signs of hearing loss here. Any one of these signs should prompt a call to your audiologist.
Experiencing tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ears)
Tinnitus can be a symptom of hearing loss, or it can occur on its own, especially after you’ve experienced trauma to the ear, like exposure to a loud sound or hitting your head. Learn more about tinnitus types, symptoms, and causes here. If you have recurring or constant tinnitus that interferes with your life, an audiologist can help you with strategies to manage it.
Wanting to use or adjust hearing aids
An audiologist should be your first stop when you’re thinking about getting your first pair of hearing aids. They can help you decide what type of hearing aids are right for your needs, customize the settings, and so on. If you already use hearing aids, your audiologist will be your go-to person for any adjustments or upgrades.
Any pain or discomfort in the ears
If you are experiencing ear pain, it could be a sign of infection. Audiologists can diagnose and treat things like ear infections, which might be the source of your pain. If you don’t already have a regular audiologist, you might want to check in with your regular doctor or an ENT (ears, nose, throat) specialist first — and you’ll be referred to others if needed.
Getting earwax removed
We often think of earwax as an annoyance, but it’s actually necessary to protect our inner ears from dirt and bacteria. Sticking things into your ears at home (even cotton swabs) can do more harm than good, like shoving the earwax deeper into your ear canal or even puncturing a membrane. Our ears are naturally self-cleaning, but if you feel like you have a buildup of earwax, an audiologist can help you safely remove it.
Suddenly having muffled hearing
If you have sudden hearing loss, that could be an indication of “sensorineural hearing loss,” which can be caused by anything from plane travel or sneezing too hard to more serious things like infections and neurological or ear disorders. Getting sudden hearing loss or changes in your hearing quality checked out by a professional is essential, even if they turn out to be due to a non-hearing-related condition.
You’re due for a regular checkup
Just like you should schedule regular doctor’s checkups to keep an eye on various metrics of your health, it’s vital to do the same thing for your ears. Making an annual audiologist appointment is the best way to track hearing changes over time and get up-to-date advice on care and treatment options.
Hearing loss is a sign it’s time to see an audiologist — and it’s also a sign that you might benefit from a CapTel captioned telephone. Learn more about our hearing loss telephones and how they work here!