The hearing exam truly is the easy part. The difficult part is acknowledging your hearing loss and actually scheduling the hearing test in the first place.
You have probably read the stats by now: 48 million individuals in the US have hearing loss but only a small fraction actually do something about it, and only 20 percent of those who could benefit from hearing aids actually utilize them.
So if you’ve already arranged your hearing test, great job, you’ve already conquered the biggest hurdle to healthier hearing.
The hearing test, as you’ll witness, is an easy, non-invasive process that will determine the severity of your hearing loss to help determine the most suitable course of treatment.
After you initially arrive at the office, you’ll start by completing some paperwork. Then, you’ll meet with your hearing care professional to go over your hearing health history.
Your Hearing Health History
Your hearing loss, if present, can be caused by direct exposure to loud sound, the natural aging process, or by an underlying ailment. You’ll want to exclude any underlying medical conditions prior to proceeding to the actual hearing exam.
If you have an earwax impaction, for example, you could be hearing better within a few minutes after a professional cleaning. The presence of any other ailments will be considered and the appropriate referral made, if necessary.
After analyzing your basic medical history, you’ll review your subjection to loud sounds, your hearing loss symptoms, and what you wish to achieve with better hearing.
It’s very important to determine possible causes, how symptoms are negatively affecting your life, and how better hearing will improve your life, which is in the end the entire point. Be skeptical of the practitioner that doesn’t seem to really care about the main reasons why you desire to enhance your hearing to begin with.
The Hearing Test
There’s one additional step before beginning the hearing test: the visual investigation of the ear with a device called an otoscope. This will help in ruling out any issues with the ear canal, the eardrum, or the excess accumulation of earwax.
Next, you’ll be escorted to a sound-treated room with your hearing care provider. You’ll be instructed to wear headphones, and the specialist will begin 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 called your hearing threshold, and the hearing care professional will document these values on a chart known as an audiogram.
The hearing test will probably also entail speech testing, where you’ll be asked to repeat the words delivered to you. Assorted types of words, presented at various volumes with and without background noise, will be presented. This will help ascertain if hearing aids can help you with speech comprehension.
At the conclusion of the testing, your hearing care professional will go over the results with you.
Reviewing Your Hearing Test Results
Referring to your audiogram, your hearing care professional will now discuss your hearing in both ears. Contingent 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 found, the next step is going over your treatment options. Since there are no present medical or surgical treatments to restore hearing damage, this means assessing your hearing aid options.
Present hearing aids come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors, at different price ranges with a number of advanced features. In picking out your hearing aids, it’s essential to work with an expert hearing care professional for three main reasons:
- They can help you identify the best hearing aid model to satisfy 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 suits your budget.
- They can program your new hearing aids to amplify only the sounds you have trouble hearing—determined by the hearing test—ensuring optimal sound quality.
And that’s it, a fast, simple process in exchange for a lifetime of better hearing. We’d say that’s a very good deal.
We look forward to seeing you!