The hearing test really is the easy part. The challenging part is accepting your hearing loss and actually setting up the hearing test in the first place.
You have probably read the statistics by now: 48 million individuals in the United States suffer from hearing loss but only a minor fraction actually do anything about it, and only 20 percent of those who could reap benefits from hearing aids actually use them.
So if you’ve already arranged your hearing test, well done, you’ve already conquered the biggest hindrance to healthier hearing.
The hearing test, as you’ll witness, is an easy, non-invasive process that will uncover the severity of your hearing loss to help institute the best suited course of treatment.
After you initially arrive at the office, you’ll begin by completing some paperwork. Then, you’ll meet with your hearing care provider to talk about your hearing health history.
Your Hearing Health History
Your hearing loss, if existing, can be brought on by exposure to loud sound, the normal aging process, or by an underlying ailment. You’ll want to exclude any underlying conditions before proceeding to the actual hearing test.
If you have an earwax impaction, as an example, you could be hearing better within minutes shortly after a professional cleaning. The presence of any other ailments will be assessed and the appropriate referral made, if required.
After examining your general medical history, you’ll discuss your exposure to loud sounds, your hearing loss symptoms, and what you would like to achieve with better hearing.
It’s important to establish potential causes, how symptoms are influencing your life, and how better hearing will improve your life, which is after all the whole point. Be leery of the practitioner that doesn’t appear to care about the main reasons why you desire to improve your hearing in the first place.
Testing Your Hearing
There’s one additional step prior to beginning the hearing test: the visual investigation of the ear with an instrument known as an otoscope. This will help in ruling out any problems with the ear canal, the eardrum, or the elevated accumulation of earwax.
Next, you’ll be escorted to a sound-treated room with your hearing care provider. You’ll be asked to put on headphones, and the specialist will begin to play you some sounds.
You will be presented with various sounds at different 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 professional will capture these values on a diagram known as an audiogram.
The hearing exam might also entail speech testing, where you’ll be instructed to repeat the words presented to you. Assorted types of words, presented at different volumes with and without background noise, will be introduced. This will help establish if hearing aids can assist you with speech comprehension.
At the conclusion of the testing, your hearing care provider will go over 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. Based on the results, your hearing will be categorized as normal or as exhibiting mild, moderate, severe, or profound hearing loss.
If a hearing loss is found, the next move is discussing your treatment options. Seeing that there are no existing medical or surgical treatments to repair hearing damage, this means examining your hearing aid options.
Present hearing aids come in an assortment of shapes, sizes, and colors, at different price ranges with several sophisticated features. In choosing your hearing aids, it’s essential to work with a qualified hearing care professional for three reasons:
- They can help you find the ideal hearing aid model to meet all of your goals.
- They can help you determine the advanced features you need—as well as with the ones you don’t—at a price that suits your budget.
- They can program your new hearing aids to enhance only the sounds you have difficulty hearing—established 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!