The hearing test really is the easy part. The difficult part is acknowledging your hearing loss and actually reserving the hearing test in the first place.
You have most likely read the statistics by now: 48 million individuals in the US have hearing loss but only a small fraction actually do anything about it, and only 20 percent of people who could reap benefits from hearing aids actually make use of them.
So if you’ve already scheduled your hearing test, congrats, you’ve already conquered the greatest hindrance to better hearing.
The hearing exam, as you’ll notice, is an easy, non-invasive process that will identify the severity of your hearing loss to help determine the best suited treatment course.
Shortly after you first arrive at the office, you’ll begin by filling out 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 existing, can be brought on by exposure to loud noise, the normal aging process, or by an underlying condition. You’ll want to exclude any underlying conditions before proceeding to the actual hearing exam.
If you have an impaction of earwax, as an example, you may very well be hearing better within a few minutes shortly after a professional cleaning. The existence of any other conditions will be assessed and the appropriate referral made, if necessary.
After analyzing your general medical history, you’ll go over your subjection to loud sounds, your hearing loss symptoms, and what you would like to accomplish with better hearing.
It’s imperative to determine possible causes, how symptoms are influencing your life, and how better hearing will improve your life, which is all things considered the entire point. Be skeptical of the practitioner that doesn’t seem to really care about the reasons why you desire to improve your hearing to begin with.
The Hearing Test
There’s one additional step to take prior to starting the hearing test: the visual investigation of the ear with a device known as an otoscope. This will help in ruling out any problems with the ear canal, the eardrum, or the abnormal accumulation of earwax.
Next, you’ll be accompanied to a sound-treated room with your hearing care provider. You’ll be instructed to wear headphones, and the specialist will start to play you some sounds.
You will be presented with different sounds at assorted frequencies, and you’ll be asked to identify the quietest sounds you can hear at each frequency. This is referred to as your hearing threshold, and the hearing care professional will document these values on a chart called an audiogram.
The hearing exam may also entail speech testing, where you’ll be instructed to repeat the words delivered to you. Assorted types of words, presented at various volumes with and without background noise, will be introduced. This will help ascertain if hearing aids can help you with speech comprehension.
At the conclusion of the testing, your hearing care professional will discuss the final results with you.
Assessing Your Hearing Test Results
Referring to your audiogram, your hearing care provider will now discuss your hearing in both ears. Depending on the results, your hearing will be classified as normal or as displaying mild, moderate, severe, or profound hearing loss.
If a hearing loss is present, the next move is discussing your treatment options. Seeing as there are no current medical or surgical treatments to restore hearing damage, this means examining your hearing aid options.
Modern day hearing aids are available in a vast array of shapes, sizes, and colors, at a variety of prices with a number of sophisticated features. In selecting your hearing aids, it’s crucial to work with a competent hearing care professional for three main reasons:
- They can help you find the best hearing aid model to meet all of your objectives.
- They can help you identify the advanced features you need—as well as with the ones you don’t—at a price tag that suits your budget.
- They can program your new hearing aids to amplify only the sounds you have difficulty hearing—determined by the hearing test—ensuring optimal sound quality.
And that’s it, a quick, simple process in return for a lifetime of better hearing. We’d say that’s a very good deal.
We look forward to seeing you!