The hearing test really is the easy part. The challenging part is acknowledging your hearing loss and actually booking the hearing test in the first place.
You have more than likely read the statistics by now: 48 million people in the US have hearing loss but only a minor fraction actually do something about it, and only 20 percent of people who would reap benefits from hearing aids actually make use of them.
So if you’ve already scheduled your hearing test, great job, you’ve already conquered the most significant impediment to healthier hearing.
The hearing exam, as you’ll discover, is an easy, non-invasive procedure that will uncover the level of your hearing loss to help establish the most appropriate method of treatment.
Shortly after you initially arrive at the office, you’ll begin by completing some paperwork. Then, you’ll meet with your hearing care provider to go over your hearing health history.
Your Hearing Health History
Your hearing loss, if present, can be caused by exposure to loud sound, the natural aging process, or by an underlying ailment. You’ll want to rule out any underlying conditions prior to moving on to the actual hearing test.
If you have an impaction of earwax, for instance, you could be hearing better within a few minutes after a professional cleaning. The existence of any other ailments will be analyzed and the applicable referral made, if required.
After examining your basic medical history, you’ll discuss your exposure to loud sounds, your hearing loss symptoms, and exactly what you desire to achieve with better hearing.
It’s critical to establish possible causes, how symptoms are having an effect on your life, and how better hearing will improve your life, which is in the end the whole point. Be leery of the practitioner that doesn’t appear to care about the reasons why you want to improve your hearing to begin with.
The Hearing Test
There’s one additional step before starting the hearing test: the visual examination of the ear with a device called an otoscope. This will help rule out any problems with the ear canal, the eardrum, or the excess buildup of earwax.
Next, you’ll be escorted to a sound-treated room with your hearing care provider. You’ll be required to put on headphones, and the specialist will start to play you some sounds.
You’ll be presented with various sounds at different frequencies, and you’ll be asked to identify the quietest sounds you can hear at each pitch. This is called your hearing threshold, and the hearing care provider will log these values on a graph known as an audiogram.
The hearing test may also incorporate speech testing, where you’ll be instructed to repeat the words presented to you. Various types of words, delivered at different volumes with and without background noise, will be presented. This will help establish if hearing aids can assist you with speech understanding.
At the conclusion of the testing, your hearing care provider will discuss the results with you.
Reviewing Your Hearing Test Results
Referencing your audiogram, your hearing care provider will now review your hearing in both ears. Based on the results, your hearing will be characterized as normal or as displaying mild, moderate, severe, or profound hearing loss.
If a hearing loss is found, the next move is going over your treatment options. Seeing that there are no existing medical or surgical treatments to restore hearing damage, this means comparing your hearing aid options.
Contemporary hearing aids come in a mix of shapes, sizes, and colors, at different price ranges with a number of advanced features. In choosing your hearing aids, it’s crucial to work with a qualified hearing care professional for three reasons:
- They can help you find the best hearing aid model to meet all of your objectives.
- They can help you determine the advanced features you need—along with the ones you don’t—at a price that complements your budget.
- They can program your new hearing aids to enhance only the sounds you have difficulty hearing—ascertained by the hearing test—ensuring optimal sound quality.
And that’s it, a fast, simple procedure in return for a lifetime of healthier hearing. We’d say that’s a very good deal.
We look forward to seeing you!