The hearing test really is the easy part. The tricky part is acknowledging your hearing loss and actually scheduling the hearing test in the first place.
You have probably heard the stats by now: 48 million individuals in the US suffer from hearing loss but only a minor fraction actually do anything about it, and only 20 percent of people who could reap benefits from hearing aids actually wear them.
So if you’ve already arranged your hearing test, congratulations, you’ve already conquered the biggest hindrance to healthier hearing.
The hearing exam, as you’ll notice, is a simple and easy, non-invasive process that will uncover the severity of your hearing loss to help develop the most appropriate treatment course.
Shortly after you initially arrive at the office, you’ll begin by submitting some paperwork. Then, you’ll consult with your hearing care professional to go over your hearing health history.
Your Hearing Health History
Your hearing loss, if present, can be a consequence of direct exposure to loud sound, the normal aging process, or by an underlying condition. You’ll want to rule out any underlying medical conditions prior to moving on to the actual hearing exam.
If you have an earwax impaction, for instance, you may very well be hearing better within minutes after a professional cleaning. The presence of any other ailments will be considered and the appropriate referral made, if required.
After going over your general medical history, you’ll discuss your exposure to loud sounds, your hearing loss symptoms, and what you desire to accomplish with better hearing.
It’s important to determine possible causes, how symptoms are having an effect on your life, and how better hearing will enhance your life, which is all things considered the entire point. Be suspicious of the practitioner that doesn’t appear to care about the reasons why you want to enhance your hearing to begin with.
Testing Your Hearing
There’s one additional step before starting the hearing test: the visual evaluation of the ear with an instrument called an otoscope. This will help rule out any problems with the ear canal, the eardrum, or the elevated buildup of earwax.
Next, you’ll be accompanied to a sound-treated room with your hearing care provider. You’ll be asked to put on headphones, and the specialist will start to play you some sounds.
You will be presented with various sounds at assorted frequencies, and you’ll be requested to identify the quietest sounds you can hear at each frequency. This is termed your hearing threshold, and the hearing care professional will log these values on a graph known as an audiogram.
The hearing test will probably also incorporate speech testing, where you’ll be instructed to repeat the words delivered to you. Assorted types of words, presented at different volumes with and without background noise, will be presented. This will help establish if hearing aids can assist you with speech comprehension.
At the conclusion of the testing, your hearing care professional will go over the final results with you.
Assessing Your Hearing Test Results
Referencing your audiogram, your hearing care professional will now talk about your hearing in both ears. Contingent on the results, your hearing will be categorized as normal or as exhibiting mild, moderate, severe, or profound hearing loss.
If a hearing loss is present, the next step is talking about your treatment options. Since there are no present medical or surgical treatments to repair hearing damage, this means comparing your hearing aid options.
Contemporary hearing aids come in a wide array of shapes, sizes, and colors, at a variety of price points with a number of sophisticated functions and features. In choosing your hearing aids, it’s essential to work with an experienced hearing care professional for three main reasons:
- They can help you identify the ideal hearing aid model to satisfy all of your goals.
- They can help you determine the advanced functions you need—along with the ones you don’t—at a price tag that complements your budget.
- They can program your new hearing aids to enhance only the sounds you have difficulty hearing—established by the hearing test—ensuring optimal sound quality.
And that’s it, a quick, simple procedure in exchange for a lifetime of better hearing. We’d say that’s a very good deal.
We look forward to seeing you!