The hearing test honestly is the easy part. The tricky part is accepting your hearing loss and actually setting up the hearing test in the first place.
You have more than likely read the stats by now: 48 million individuals in the US suffer from hearing loss but only a minor fraction actually do something about it, and only 20 percent of people who would reap benefits from hearing aids actually use them.
So if you’ve already arranged your hearing test, great job, you’ve already conquered the strongest hindrance to healthier hearing.
The hearing test, as you’ll discover, is a simple and easy, non-invasive procedure that will establish the severity of your hearing loss to help determine the most appropriate course of treatment.
After you initially arrive at the office, you’ll begin by filling out 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 due to direct 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 proceeding to the actual hearing test.
If you have an impaction of earwax, as an example, you could be hearing better within a few minutes after a professional cleaning. The presence of any other conditions will be considered and the appropriate referral made, if required.
After going over your general medical history, you’ll go over your subjection to loud sounds, your hearing loss symptoms, and exactly what you would like to achieve with better hearing.
It’s vital to determine potential causes, how symptoms are impacting your life, and how better hearing will enhance your life, which is after all the whole point. Be wary of the practitioner that doesn’t appear to really care about the reasons why you want to improve your hearing to begin with.
The Hearing Test
There’s one more step prior to beginning the hearing test: the visual investigation of the ear with a device called an otoscope. This will help rule out any issues with the ear canal, the eardrum, or the excessive accumulation of earwax.
Next, you’ll be accompanied to a sound-treated room with your hearing care provider. You’ll be instructed to put on headphones, and the specialist will begin to play you some sounds.
You will be presented with different sounds at different frequencies, and you’ll be requested to identify the quietest sounds you can hear at each frequency. This is termed your hearing threshold, and the hearing care professional will log these values on a graph called an audiogram.
The hearing test may also incorporate speech testing, where you’ll be instructed 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 determine if hearing aids can assist you with speech understanding.
At the conclusion of the testing, your hearing care provider will discuss the results with you.
Assessing Your Hearing Test Results
Referring to your audiogram, your hearing care provider will now review your hearing in both ears. Contingent on the results, your hearing will be classified as normal or as displaying mild, moderate, severe, or profound hearing loss.
If a hearing loss is present, the next step is talking about your treatment options. Considering that there are no existing medical or surgical treatments to restore hearing damage, this means comparing your hearing aid options.
Current hearing aids are available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, at a variety of price points with several advanced functions and features. In choosing your hearing aids, it’s essential to work with an experienced hearing care professional for three reasons:
- They can help you find the ideal hearing aid model to meet all of your objectives.
- They can help you determine the advanced features you need—as well as with the ones you don’t—at a price tag that fits 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, easy process in exchange for a lifetime of better hearing. We’d say that’s a very good deal.
We look forward to seeing you!