The hearing test really is the easy part. The challenging part is accepting your hearing loss and actually scheduling the hearing test in the first place.
You’ve probably heard the stats by now: 48 million people in the US have hearing loss but only a small fraction actually do anything about it, and only 20 percent of those who would benefit from hearing aids actually wear them.
So if you’ve already arranged your hearing test, well done, you’ve already conquered the strongest impediment to better hearing.
The hearing exam, as you’ll discover, is a simple and easy, non-invasive procedure that will ascertain the magnitude of your hearing loss to help establish the most appropriate treatment course.
After you initially arrive at the office, you’ll begin by filling out some paperwork. Then, you’ll consult with your hearing care provider to talk about your hearing health history.
Your Hearing Health History
Your hearing loss, if present, can be brought on by direct exposure to loud noise, the normal aging process, or by an underlying ailment. You’ll want to exclude any underlying conditions before moving on to the actual hearing exam.
If you have an impaction of earwax, for example, you could be hearing better within minutes after a professional cleaning. The presence of any other ailments will be evaluated and the applicable referral made, if required.
After reviewing your general medical history, you’ll discuss your exposure to loud sounds, your hearing loss symptoms, and exactly what you would like to achieve with better hearing.
It’s vital to establish possible causes, how symptoms are affecting your life, and how better hearing will improve your life, which is after all the whole point. Be wary of the practitioner that doesn’t appear to really care about the main reasons why you desire to improve your hearing to begin with.
Testing Your Hearing
There’s one additional step before starting the hearing test: the visual investigation of the ear with a device called an otoscope. This will help rule out any issues 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 instructed to wear headphones, and the provider will start to play you some sounds.
You will be presented with various sounds at multiple frequencies, and you’ll be asked to identify the quietest sounds you can hear at each frequency. This is labeled your hearing threshold, and the hearing care professional will record these values on a diagram 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 introduced. This will help ascertain if hearing aids can assist you with speech comprehension.
At the conclusion of the testing, your hearing care professional will go over the 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 characterized as normal or as exhibiting mild, moderate, severe, or profound hearing loss.
If a hearing loss is present, the next move is going over your treatment options. Given that there are no present medical or surgical treatments to repair hearing damage, this means assessing your hearing aid options.
Contemporary hearing aids are available in an array of shapes, sizes, and colors, at a variety of price points with several sophisticated features. In picking out your hearing aids, it’s crucial to work with an expert hearing care professional for three main 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 fits your budget.
- They can program your new hearing aids to enhance only the sounds you have trouble hearing—ascertained by the hearing test—ensuring optimal sound quality.
And that’s it, a quick, easy procedure in exchange for a lifetime of better hearing. We’d say that’s a pretty good deal.
We look forward to seeing you!