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 most likely read the stats by now: 48 million people in the US suffer from hearing loss but only a small fraction actually do something about it, and only 20 percent of those who would reap benefits from hearing aids actually make use of them.
So if you’ve already scheduled your hearing test, congratulations, you’ve already overcome the strongest hurdle to healthier hearing.
The hearing exam, as you’ll see, is a simple and easy, non-invasive procedure that will identify the degree of your hearing loss to help establish the best suited treatment course.
Shortly after you initially arrive at the office, you’ll start by submitting some paperwork. Then, you’ll meet with your hearing care professional to review your hearing health history.
Your Hearing Health History
Your hearing loss, if present, can be triggered by exposure to loud noise, the normal aging process, or by an underlying condition. You’ll want to rule out any underlying conditions before proceeding to the actual hearing exam.
If you have an earwax impaction, for instance, you could be hearing better within minutes shortly after a professional cleaning. The existence of any other conditions will be assessed and the appropriate referral made, if necessary.
After going over your basic medical history, you’ll review your exposure to loud sounds, your hearing loss symptoms, and exactly what you would like to achieve with better hearing.
It’s crucial to determine possible causes, how symptoms are impacting your life, and how better hearing will enhance your life, which is all things considered the whole point. Be skeptical of the practitioner that doesn’t seem to really care about the reasons why you want to improve your hearing to begin with.
Testing Your Hearing
There’s one more step to take before beginning the hearing test: the visual evaluation of the ear with a device known as an otoscope. This will help rule out any problems with the ear canal, the eardrum, or the surplus accumulation of earwax.
Next, you’ll be escorted to a sound-treated room with your hearing care provider. You’ll be instructed to put on headphones, and the provider 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 frequency. This is labeled your hearing threshold, and the hearing care professional will capture these values on a graph called an audiogram.
The hearing test might also include 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 understanding.
At the conclusion of the testing, your hearing care provider will review the results with you.
Assessing Your Hearing Test Results
Referencing your audiogram, your hearing care provider will now discuss your hearing in both ears. Based upon the results, your hearing will be characterized as normal or as exhibiting mild, moderate, severe, or profound hearing loss.
If a hearing loss is found, the next move is going over your treatment options. Considering that there are no present medical or surgical treatments to restore hearing damage, this means comparing your hearing aid options.
Present hearing aids come in an array of shapes, sizes, and colors, at a variety of price points with several advanced features. In picking out your hearing aids, it’s important to work with a qualified hearing care professional for three reasons:
- They can help you identify the ideal hearing aid model to meet all of your objectives.
- They can help you determine the advanced functions 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 difficulty hearing—determined by the hearing test—ensuring the best possible sound quality.
And that’s it, a quick, easy process in exchange for a lifetime of healthier hearing. We’d say that’s a pretty good deal.
We look forward to seeing you!