The hearing test really is the easy part. The difficult part is acknowledging your hearing loss and actually scheduling the hearing test in the first place.
You have more than likely heard the stats by now: 48 million people in the US suffer from 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 scheduled your hearing test, great job, you’ve already overcome the largest impediment to healthier hearing.
The hearing exam, as you’ll discover, is an easy, non-invasive procedure that will establish the level of your hearing loss to help develop the best suited method of treatment.
Shortly after you first arrive at the office, you’ll start by filling out some paperwork. Then, you’ll consult with your hearing care professional to review your hearing health history.
Your Hearing Health History
Your hearing loss, if existing, can be brought on by 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 earwax impaction, for instance, you could be hearing better within a few minutes after a professional cleaning. The existence of any other conditions will be assessed and the appropriate referral made, if necessary.
After going over 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 imperative to determine possible causes, how symptoms are affecting your life, and how better hearing will enhance your life, which is after all the whole point. Be skeptical of the practitioner that doesn’t appear to care about the reasons why you want to enhance your hearing in the first place.
Testing Your Hearing
There’s one more step before starting the hearing test: the visual examination of the ear with an instrument called an otoscope. This will help rule out any issues with the ear canal, the eardrum, or the excess buildup of earwax.
Next, you’ll be accompanied to a sound-treated room with your hearing care provider. You’ll be required to put on headphones, and the specialist will start to play you some sounds.
You’ll be presented with a variety of sounds at different frequencies, and you’ll be requested to identify the quietest sounds you can hear at each frequency. This is referred to as your hearing threshold, and the hearing care professional will log these values on a chart called an audiogram.
The hearing test may also entail speech testing, where you’ll be asked to repeat the words delivered to you. Various types of words, presented at various volumes with and without background noise, will be presented. This will help ascertain if hearing aids can assist you with speech comprehension.
When the hearing test is over, your hearing care professional will go over the final results with you.
Reviewing Your Hearing Test Results
Referring to your audiogram, your hearing care professional will now talk about your hearing in both ears. Contingent on the results, your hearing will be classified 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. Since there are no existing medical or surgical treatments to repair hearing damage, this means assessing your hearing aid options.
Modern day hearing aids are available in a whole range of shapes, sizes, and colors, at different price points with a number of advanced functions and features. In picking out your hearing aids, it’s important to work with a competent hearing care professional for three main reasons:
- They can help you find the best hearing aid model to meet all of your goals.
- 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 enhance only the sounds you have trouble hearing—determined by the hearing test—ensuring the best possible sound quality.
And that’s it, a fast, 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!