Otoscope and headphones on top of audiogram

The hearing exam truly is the easy part. The tricky part is acknowledging your hearing loss and actually booking the hearing test in the first place.

You have most likely heard the statistics by now: 48 million individuals in the United States suffer from hearing loss but only a small fraction actually do anything about it, and only 20 percent of those who would reap benefits from hearing aids actually utilize them.

So if you’ve already scheduled your hearing test, congrats, 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 uncover the degree of your hearing loss to help determine the most appropriate treatment course.

After you initially arrive at the office, you’ll begin by completing 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 brought on by direct exposure to loud noise, the normal aging process, or by an underlying condition. You’ll want to exclude any underlying medical conditions prior to proceeding to the actual hearing test.

If you have an impaction of earwax, as an example, you may very well be hearing better within a few minutes shortly after a professional cleaning. The presence of any other conditions will be analyzed and the applicable referral made, if necessary.

After going over your general medical history, you’ll go over your subjection to loud sounds, your hearing loss symptoms, and what you would like to achieve with better hearing.

It’s essential to determine possible causes, how symptoms are negatively affecting your life, and how better hearing will improve your life, which is all things considered the whole point. Be wary of the practitioner that doesn’t seem to really care about the 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 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 abnormal buildup of earwax.

Next, you’ll be accompanied to a sound-treated room with your hearing care provider. You’ll be asked to put on headphones, and the provider will start to play you some sounds.

You will be presented with different sounds at different frequencies, and you’ll be asked to identify the quietest sounds you can hear at each frequency. This is labeled your hearing threshold, and the hearing care professional will record these values on a chart known as an audiogram.

The hearing exam might also incorporate 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 presented. This will help determine if hearing aids can assist you with speech understanding.

At the conclusion of the testing, your hearing care professional will go over the results with you.

Reviewing Your Hearing Test Results

Referencing your audiogram, your hearing care professional will now talk about your hearing in both ears. Determined by the results, your hearing will be categorized as normal or as displaying mild, moderate, severe, or profound hearing loss.

If a hearing loss is found, the next step is talking about your treatment options. Given that there are no current medical or surgical treatments to restore hearing damage, this means comparing your hearing aid options.

Today’s hearing aids are available in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors, at different prices with a number of sophisticated features. In choosing your hearing aids, it’s essential to work with a competent hearing care professional for three reasons:

  1. They can help you find the ideal hearing aid model to satisfy all of your goals.
  2. They can help you determine the advanced functions you need—along with the ones you don’t—at a price tag that suits your budget.
  3. They can program your new hearing aids to amplify only the sounds you have difficulty hearing—established by the hearing test—ensuring optimal sound quality.

And that’s it, a fast, easy process in exchange for a lifetime of healthier hearing. We’d say that’s a pretty good deal.

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