Hearing loss is one of the most common ailments impacting Americans today, and yet, many do not seek treatment. Unfortunately, ear health issues can be hard to determine if you need to visit an audiologist or if the condition will resolve itself. So how do you know if you need to see an audiologist? If you’re experiencing any of the four signs below, chances are you might benefit from a visit with an audiologist.

1. Do you experience ringing in your ears?

Unexplained ringing or whistling in the ears is a condition called tinnitus; it currently affects around 26 million Americans. While there isn’t any true “cure” for tinnitus, there are a number of therapies and treatments an audiologist can recommend to help you find relief.  Because tinnitus is often a symptom of a larger issue, if you experience any kind of ringing in your ears you should schedule a visit with an audiologist as soon as possible.  

2. Have you had your yearly checkup?

Your ears and hearing should have a routine checkup, once a year. Hearing loss usually develops very subtly over a long period of time, so you may not realize that you have it. The only way to ensure that your ears remain in good condition for as long as possible is to have your hearing tested regularly. This way, any minor reduction in your hearing ability can be picked up and dealt with early. Looking after your ears throughout your life will pay off enormously in older adulthood, where the effects of age-related hearing deterioration will become more obvious.

3. Have you noticed a buildup of earwax?

A little earwax is perfectly healthy and actually keeps your ears clean and free of outside debris, dirt or bacteria. However, if you have noticed excessive amounts of earwax in and around your ears, you should get them checked out by an audiologist. Do not make the mistake of trying to remove excess wax yourself, most of the ear-cleaning products on the market are ineffective, may actually damage your ears and can lead to even more wax being produced.

4. Are you having trouble hearing?

Hearing ability can decline so gradually over the years that many people ignore the subtle signs of hearing loss for a long time before seeking treatment. Remember, that as with all health problems, hearing loss is best caught as early as possible. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you find you have to ask people to repeat themselves or speak up more often?
  • Are you setting the television or radio to a higher volume?
  • Are group conversations more difficult to follow?
  • Do you find yourself experiencing headaches at the end of a busy day?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, it’s possible you are experiencing hearing loss. Contact an audiologist in your area to get your hearing evaluated as soon as possible.