The hearing test really is the easy part. The challenging part is acknowledging your hearing loss and actually scheduling the hearing test in the first place.
You’ve probably heard the stats by now: 48 million individuals in the US suffer from hearing loss but only a small fraction actually do something about it, and only 20 percent of those who could benefit from hearing aids actually make use of them.
So if you’ve already set up your hearing test, well done, you’ve already overcome the biggest impediment to better hearing.
The hearing test, as you’ll witness, is an easy, non-invasive process that will confirm the severity of your hearing loss to help develop the most suitable course of treatment.
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 triggered by direct exposure to loud noise, the normal aging process, or by an underlying ailment. You’ll want to rule out any underlying conditions before proceeding to the actual hearing test.
If you have an impaction of earwax, for example, you may very well be hearing better within minutes after a professional cleaning. The presence of any other ailments will be considered and the applicable referral made, if necessary.
After analyzing your basic medical history, you’ll review your subjection to loud sounds, your hearing loss symptoms, and exactly what you would like to accomplish with better hearing.
It’s important to establish possible causes, how symptoms are influencing your life, and how better hearing will improve your life, which is after all the whole point. Be skeptical of the practitioner that doesn’t appear to really care about the main reasons why you want to enhance your hearing to begin with.
The Hearing Test
There’s one more step to take before starting the hearing test: the visual evaluation of the ear with a device known as an otoscope. This will help rule out any issues with the ear canal, the eardrum, or the surplus accumulation of earwax.
Next, you’ll be accompanied to a sound-treated room with your hearing care professional. You’ll be required to wear headphones, and the specialist will start to play you some sounds.
You will 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 referred to as your hearing threshold, and the hearing care professional will log these values on a diagram known as an audiogram.
The hearing exam will probably also include speech testing, where you’ll be asked to repeat the words presented to you. Assorted types of words, delivered at different volumes with and without background noise, will be presented. This will help establish if hearing aids can help you with speech understanding.
At the conclusion of the testing, your hearing care provider will review the results with you.
Assessing Your Hearing Test Results
Referring to your audiogram, your hearing care provider will now talk about 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 talking about your treatment options. Considering that there are no present medical or surgical treatments to restore hearing damage, this means evaluating your hearing aid options.
Contemporary hearing aids are available in a diverse mix of shapes, sizes, and colors, at different price points with a number of sophisticated features. In selecting your hearing aids, it’s important to work with an expert hearing care professional for three reasons:
- They can help you find the best hearing aid model to satisfy all of your objectives.
- They can help you determine the advanced features you need—along 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 trouble hearing—determined 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 pretty good deal.
We look forward to seeing you!