The hearing test truly is the easy part. The tricky part is accepting your hearing loss and actually booking the hearing test in the first place.
You have most likely read the stats by now: 48 million people in the United States suffer from hearing loss but only a small fraction actually do anything about it, and only 20 percent of people who would benefit from hearing aids actually wear them.
So if you’ve already set up your hearing test, congrats, you’ve already overcome the largest impediment to better hearing.
The hearing exam, as you’ll notice, is an easy, non-invasive procedure that will identify the severity of your hearing loss to help institute the most suited treatment course.
After you first 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 caused by exposure to loud sound, the normal aging process, or by an underlying condition. You’ll want to rule out any underlying medical conditions prior to moving on to the actual hearing test.
If you have an impaction of earwax, as an example, you could be hearing better within minutes shortly after a professional cleaning. The presence of any other conditions will be evaluated 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 accomplish with better hearing.
It’s crucial to establish possible causes, how symptoms are impacting your life, and how better hearing will improve your life, which is after all the entire point. Be leery of the practitioner that doesn’t seem to care about the reasons why you desire to improve your hearing to begin with.
Testing Your Hearing
There’s one additional step prior to beginning the hearing test: the visual examination of the ear with a device called an otoscope. This will help in ruling out any problems with the ear canal, the eardrum, or the excess buildup of earwax.
Next, you’ll be escorted to a sound-treated room with your hearing care provider. You’ll be asked to wear headphones, and the specialist will begin to play you some sounds.
You will be presented with various sounds at assorted 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 record these values on a diagram known as an audiogram.
The hearing exam may also include speech testing, where you’ll be asked to repeat the words presented to you. Assorted types of words, presented at different volumes with and without background noise, will be presented. This will help establish if hearing aids can help you with speech understanding.
At the conclusion of the testing, your hearing care provider will go over the final results with you.
Reviewing 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 categorized as normal or as displaying mild, moderate, severe, or profound hearing loss.
If a hearing loss is present, the next move is discussing your treatment options. Given that there are no current medical or surgical treatments to repair hearing damage, this means evaluating your hearing aid options.
Today’s hearing aids come in a diverse mix of shapes, sizes, and colors, at different prices with a number of advanced functions and features. In picking out your hearing aids, it’s important to work with an experienced hearing care professional for three reasons:
- They can help you find the ideal hearing aid model to satisfy all of your goals.
- They can help you identify 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 enhance only the sounds you have trouble hearing—identified by the hearing test—ensuring the best possible sound quality.
And that’s it, a quick, easy process in return for a lifetime of healthier hearing. We’d say that’s a pretty good deal.
We look forward to seeing you!