The hearing test honestly is the easy part. The difficult part is accepting your hearing loss and actually booking the hearing test in the first place.
You have probably 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 would benefit from hearing aids actually wear them.
So if you’ve already arranged your hearing test, great job, you’ve already overcome the greatest obstacle to healthier hearing.
The hearing test, as you’ll notice, is an easy, non-invasive process that will uncover the degree of your hearing loss to help determine the best suited course of treatment.
After you first arrive at the office, you’ll start by submitting 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 present, can be due to exposure to loud sound, the natural aging process, or by an underlying ailment. 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 a few minutes shortly after a professional cleaning. The presence of any other conditions will be evaluated and the applicable referral made, if necessary.
After going over your basic medical history, you’ll discuss your exposure to loud sounds, your hearing loss symptoms, and exactly what you would like to accomplish with better hearing.
It’s essential to determine possible causes, how symptoms are affecting your life, and how better hearing will enhance your life, which is all things considered the entire point. Be suspicious of the practitioner that doesn’t appear to really care about the main reasons why you desire to improve your hearing to begin with.
The Hearing Test
There’s one more step to take before beginning the hearing test: the visual evaluation of the ear with an instrument called an otoscope. This will help in ruling out any problems with the ear canal, the eardrum, or the abnormal buildup of earwax.
Next, you’ll be escorted to a sound-treated room with your hearing care professional. You’ll be required to wear headphones, and the specialist will start to play you some sounds.
You’ll be presented with different sounds at assorted frequencies, and you’ll be asked to identify the quietest sounds you can hear at each frequency. This is termed your hearing threshold, and the hearing care provider will document these values on a diagram known as an audiogram.
The hearing test may also entail speech testing, where you’ll be asked to repeat the words presented to you. Assorted types of words, delivered at different 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 professional 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 categorized 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. Seeing as there are no existing medical or surgical treatments to repair hearing damage, this means examining your hearing aid options.
Present hearing aids are available in a range of shapes, sizes, and colors, at a variety of price ranges with several sophisticated features. In picking out your hearing aids, it’s important to work with a qualified hearing care professional for three main reasons:
- They can help you find the ideal hearing aid model to satisfy all of your goals.
- They can help you identify the advanced features you need—as well as with the ones you don’t—at a price that works with 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, simple process in exchange for a lifetime of healthier hearing. We’d say that’s a very good deal.
We look forward to seeing you!