Hearing tests can be an invaluable way to detect early problems that might affect your health later on in life, but it’s difficult to tell when you should really go for one. Many people don’t realize when they have hearing loss, because it usually progresses over time. If you’re concerned you may have hearing loss, consider the following five signs you may need a hearing test with an audiologist.

1. You have difficulty making out conversations in public spaces

One of the common signs of hearing loss is being unable to differentiate between conversations in a public space. If you find it hard to pinpoint what your friends are saying to you in a crowd, then you should be mildly concerned about having an early form of hearing loss.

2. Your friends or family are complaining about how loud you listen to the TV or music

If you find yourself constantly turning up your music or the TV volume and annoying your friends and family, then you might have an early case of hearing loss. This is especially true if you’ve noticed that you have to listen to your music or watch the TV at a much louder volume than before.

3. You occasionally get a ringing in your ears that lasts a long time

Tinnitus is common in those with hearing loss. Although it doesn’t affect everyone the same way and it’s not directly related to hearing loss, a ringing in your ear could indicate early signs of hearing loss. If you commonly get a ringing in your ear that doesn’t go away after a few seconds then you may want to visit an audiologist to get your hearing checked. With some luck, it’ll just be a minor issue but there’s always the possibility of it being something more worrying.

4. You miss out on everyday sounds such as alarms or phones

Have you ever had friends complain that you’re really slow at answering their calls or responding to their messages? If that’s the case, then there’s a good chance that your hearing might be the issue, not your phone. Some other common signs include missing alarms and alerts at work, such as when an elevator arrives at your floor. If you feel like you’re missing more and more sounds during your workday you may want to consider an examination.

5. It’s difficult for you to communicate over a phone

Hearing loss can make it hard for you to speak to someone over the phone especially if it’s in a crowded or noisy area like a busy office. If you find that it’s difficult to listen over the phone, then consider visiting your audiologist for a hearing test.

If any of the above five signs apply to you, then it’s a good time to take a look at your hearing and get a test done to ensure there’s nothing wrong. Tests are simple and don’t take much time at all.