The hearing test really is the easy part. The difficult part is acknowledging your hearing loss and actually booking the hearing test in the first place.
You’ve more than likely heard the statistics 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 those who could benefit from hearing aids actually utilize them.
So if you’ve already scheduled your hearing test, congrats, you’ve already overcome the largest barrier to better hearing.
The hearing exam, as you’ll witness, is a simple and easy, non-invasive process that will confirm the magnitude of your hearing loss to help institute the most appropriate method of treatment.
Shortly after you initially arrive at the office, you’ll start by completing some paperwork. Then, you’ll consult with your hearing care provider to discuss your hearing health history.
Your Hearing Health History
Your hearing loss, if existing, can be caused by direct exposure to loud noise, the natural aging process, or by an underlying ailment. You’ll want to exclude any underlying medical conditions before moving on to the actual hearing exam.
If you have an impaction of earwax, for instance, you could be hearing better within minutes shortly after a professional cleaning. The existence of any other ailments will be examined and the appropriate referral made, if required.
After analyzing your general medical history, you’ll go over your exposure to loud sounds, your hearing loss symptoms, and what you would like to accomplish with better hearing.
It’s critical to determine potential causes, how symptoms are adversely affective your life, and how better hearing will improve your life, which is in the end the entire point. Be leery of the practitioner that doesn’t seem to really care about the main reasons why you want to improve your hearing to begin with.
The Hearing Test
There’s one more step to take before beginning the hearing test: the visual evaluation of the ear with an instrument called 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 professional. You’ll be asked to put on headphones, and the specialist will begin to play you some sounds.
You’ll be presented with a variety of sounds at assorted frequencies, and you’ll be requested to identify the quietest sounds you can hear at each pitch. This is labeled your hearing threshold, and the hearing care provider will log these values on a chart called an audiogram.
The hearing test will probably 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 determine if hearing aids can assist you with speech understanding.
At the conclusion of the testing, your hearing care provider will review the final results with you.
Reviewing 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 characterized as normal or as exhibiting mild, moderate, severe, or profound hearing loss.
If a hearing loss is present, the next step is discussing your treatment options. Seeing as there are no existing medical or surgical treatments to restore hearing damage, this means evaluating your hearing aid options.
Today’s hearing aids are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, at different price ranges with several sophisticated features. In selecting your hearing aids, it’s crucial to work with an expert hearing care professional for three reasons:
- They can help you identify the best hearing aid model to meet all of your objectives.
- They can help you identify the advanced features 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 amplify only the sounds you have difficulty hearing—identified by the hearing test—ensuring the best possible sound quality.
And that’s it, a fast, simple process in return for a lifetime of better hearing. We’d say that’s a pretty good deal.
We look forward to seeing you!