An audiologist is always the best person to treat your hearing health related issues and should be considered a key contact for everyone. However, finding the right audiologist in your local area is only half of the battle. In truth, knowing when to book an appointment is equally crucial if you’re going to keep your hearing in top shape.

Here are five scenarios that should not be ignored. If any of them surface, you should call the audiologist right away.

Following sudden hearing loss

Sudden hearing loss can occur for a variety of reasons, including side effects of medications, but is usually due to noise exposure. While many cases are temporary, it can be a very scary situation to encounter. An audiologist can determine why you’ve suffered this problem and find the best type of treatment and recovery. Moreover, if it was caused due to an issue like work circumstances, the audiologist can discuss defense mechanisms and resources to protect you against future episodes.

You’ve noticed gradual hearing loss

While sudden hearing loss is the scariest type, gradual hearing loss is the far more common problem. It’s often very difficult to spot this as your body is very good at acclimatizing to the changing hearing profile. However, if you’ve started turning the TV up, missing calls, or struggling with conversations, it’s probably time to have a hearing test. Even if it’s only a mild to moderate level of loss, the audiologist can help restore some normality with hearing aids and other treatments.

If your ears have been ringing

Tinnitus is another very common hearing health problem that impacts the lives of millions. In addition to the frustration of having a ringing in your ears, it’s worth noting that tinnitus is a symptom of an underlying issue. This is why you simply cannot ignore the need to get it treated. Tinnitus can occur in one ear or both, consistently or an intermittent basis. Regardless of the frequency or severity, booking an appointment with the audiologist is advised.

When your ears are blocked or infected

Something as simple as a blocked ear can cause temporary hearing loss, tinnitus, and issues with your balance. So, while a little ear wax is natural and healthy, you must not ignore the build-up of excessive wax. The audiologist can clean them in a professional way to provide immediate relief. On a similar note, infections are likely to cause a number of problems relating to your hearing and comfort. Once again, the audiologist is the best person to visit when these issues need treating.

You’re due for a checkup

Most people will see an audiologist as a response to a problem that they’ve noticed. However, it’s equally important to book regular appointments to stay on top of the situation. After all, the sooner a problem is spotted, the sooner you can get it treated. For most people, an appointment every three years should suffice. As you get older (or if you have an existing problem), you may want to increase the frequency to an annual basis. The audiologist can’t help you unless you let them!