The hearing exam 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 heard the stats by now: 48 million people in the United States have hearing loss but only a minor fraction actually do something about it, and only 20 percent of those who could reap benefits from hearing aids actually wear them.
So if you’ve already scheduled your hearing test, well done, you’ve already conquered the strongest hurdle to healthier hearing.
The hearing test, as you’ll witness, is an easy, non-invasive procedure that will establish the extent of your hearing loss to help develop the most suited treatment course.
After you first arrive at the office, you’ll begin by completing some paperwork. Then, you’ll meet with your hearing care provider to discuss your hearing health history.
Your Hearing Health History
Your hearing loss, if existing, can be brought on by direct exposure to loud noise, the normal aging process, or by an underlying condition. You’ll want to exclude any underlying medical conditions prior to proceeding to the actual hearing test.
If you have an impaction of earwax, for example, you may very well be hearing better within a few 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 general medical history, you’ll discuss your subjection to loud sounds, your hearing loss symptoms, and exactly what you desire to accomplish with better hearing.
It’s very important to establish potential causes, how symptoms are adversely affective your life, and how better hearing will enhance your life, which is all things considered the whole point. Be suspicious of the practitioner that doesn’t seem to really care about the reasons why you desire to improve your hearing to begin with.
The Hearing Test
There’s one more step before beginning the hearing test: the visual evaluation of the ear with an instrument known as an otoscope. This will help rule out any problems with the ear canal, the eardrum, or the excessive buildup of earwax.
Next, you’ll be accompanied 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’ll 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 provider will record these values on a chart known as an audiogram.
The hearing test may also entail speech testing, where you’ll be asked 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 establish if hearing aids can assist you with speech comprehension.
When the hearing test is concluded, your hearing care professional will discuss the final results with you.
Reviewing Your Hearing Test Results
Referring to your audiogram, your hearing care provider will now talk about your hearing in both ears. Contingent on the results, your hearing will be characterized as normal or as displaying mild, moderate, severe, or profound hearing loss.
If a hearing loss is present, the next move is talking about your treatment options. Since there are no current medical or surgical treatments to repair hearing damage, this means examining your hearing aid options.
Today’s hearing aids come in a vast array of shapes, sizes, and colors, at a variety of price points with several sophisticated 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 objectives.
- They can help you identify the advanced features you need—along with the ones you don’t—at a price that accommodates your budget.
- They can program your new hearing aids to amplify only the sounds you have difficulty hearing—established by the hearing test—ensuring the best possible sound quality.
And that’s it, a fast, simple procedure in return for a lifetime of healthier hearing. We’d say that’s a pretty good deal.
We look forward to seeing you!