What to Expect at a Hearing Test

Statistics indicate that most people are waiting seven years on average before seeking care for their hearing loss. Like many other medical conditions, early intervention means a much higher chance of a successful outcome when it comes to hearing loss, and any treatment of hearing loss starts with a hearing test.

Hearing tests are quick and painless, and will provide us with valuable insight into your overall hearing condition and the best treatment options. Some would benefit from a test annually. You might want to have a yearly hearing evaluation if you're:

• over the age of 55
• have a family history of hearing loss
• tend to have more frequent ringing
• working in a noisy environment

If you've noticed some changes in your hearing, there's no reason to delay considering scheduling a hearing test. Here's an idea of what to expect during your appointment with us:

A consultation with a hearing professional

We will take a look at your health history and ask questions that will help you learn more about your hearing problems.

You will be asked about your symptoms, your history of exposure to noise, the history of hearing loss in your family, and the different types of conditions where you have hearing trouble. Feel free to write down notes ahead of time, so you're comfortable and prepared for this discussion.

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An inspection of the ear

We will inspect the inner ear with an otoscope; the portable device is most often seen when you think of a hearing exam.

Physical inspections can diagnose cochlear hair cell damage, detect skin anomalies, and search for other possible problems. Hearing issues can, in some cases, be attributed to nothing more than wax buildup. Using an otoscope lets us verify or disprove this possibility.

The hearing tests

Now it is time to test your hearing. Hearing tests are usually performed in a small, quiet room built to keep out external noises that may affect your test scores. You will put on headphones that have wires hanging from it, linked to an instrument called an audiometer.

There are two main tests: a pure-tone test and a speech recognition test.

With the pure-tone test, you'll hear sounds in both ears at different frequencies and volumes. If you hear the sound, then press a button.

The speech recognition test involves hearing short snippets of speech and repeating what was said. Such assessments are intended to show how well you perform in the most critical hearing task of all: understanding speech.

Additional tests might be taken, depending on what we think you'll benefit from.

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A look at your test results

Your results will be registered on an audiogram, which is a visual illustration of your hearing skills. This will identify the softest sound you can detect and identify the frequencies that you have trouble detecting. It also shows your speech recognition capabilities, measured in a percentage.

If the test shows a hearing loss is present, the level of hearing loss will be displayed using a scale:

• If you have mild hearing loss, sounds between 26 and 40dB can not be detected. This means that you have some problems hearing other people in noisy environments.
• You have moderate hearing loss if no sounds up to 69dB are heard. This level of hearing loss makes regular conversations challenging to understand.
• When you can't listen to sounds between 70-94dB, you have a severe hearing loss. If you do not use hearing aids, you are likely to rely heavily on lip-reading, facial expressions, and body language to understand others.
• Those who have a profound hearing loss can't hear anything less than 95db. This means they can not hear anything quieter than the noise level of a Boeing 737.

Options for treatment

When a hearing loss is found, we'll go over all your options and spend some time reviewing possible treatments with you. Hearing treatment is a process, and we encourage you to ask questions. No matter what your lifestyle, budget, and hearing loss needs, there are several options for treatment.

We at Professional Hearing Services can't wait to support you on your hearing journey. Contact us today to set up a hearing test.

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