If you have hearing loss, you are not alone. According to recent survey estimates, about 10 percent of people in the United States have difficulty hearing. Most of these people – about 65 percent – are under the age of 65.
While you cannot reverse hearing loss, you do not have to suffer in a world with muted sounds and missed conversations. Using a hearing loss test to determine the cause and extent of your hearing loss, you and your doctor or hearing specialist can take action to help you hear better.
Signs of Hearing Loss
The signs of hearing loss often come about so slowly that you do not realize that you are losing your hearing. Signs of hearing loss include:
- Muffled hearing
- Difficulty understanding what people say, especially with background noise
- Responding inappropriately in conversations
- Turning up the volume more than usual on televisions and radios
- Reading lips
- Ringing in the ears
- Avoiding social interaction and conversations
If you have experience these signs on a regular basis, you should consider a hearing loss test.
Why You Should Consider a Hearing Loss Test
A hearing loss test is the most important step you can take to determine if you have a hearing problem. Hearing loss usually occurs slowly over time, so it may be difficult for you to determine if you have a hearing problem.
You may be surprised to learn that only about 13 percent of physicians perform a hearing test as part of a regular checkup. Furthermore, most doctor offices are so quiet that a clinician may not realize the extent of the problem.
A hearing loss test can detect a hearing problem in most cases, and can evaluate the nature of the problem. Your health care professional can use a hearing test to determine if you need a hearing aid or other treatment.
A hearing loss test coupled with correct hearing aids or other treatment can help improve your hearing.
What to Expect from a Hearing Loss Test
A hearing loss test assesses your ability to hear different sounds to determine if you have a hearing problem. A simple test using a tuning fork, which is a two-pronged metal instruments that produce sound when struck, can help a doctor determine if you have hearing loss.
An audiometer is a more advanced hearing loss test. You will wear headphones for this test, which allows you to test hearing in one ear at a time. The audiologist performing the test will play a range of tones at various volumes, and you will indicate when you hear the tone. This type of test can detect hearing loss resulting from damage to the nerve or cochlea, the organ in your inner ear responsible for hearing. An audiometer can also detect hearing loss associated with damage to the eardrum or tiny bones inside your ears.
Benefits of Hearing Aids
If your hearing loss test reveals a hearing problem, you may benefit from hearing aids. While hearing aids may not be able to restore your hearing to normal, they can improve your hearing significantly.
Some of the benefits of hearing aids include a better relationship with your friends and family who will no longer have to repeat themselves or shout to be heard. Wearing a hearing aid will help you feel better about yourself too, improving your mental health as well as your physical wellbeing. Your hearing aid will help you concentrate, do better in your job, and boost your confidence at social gatherings.
For more information about hearing aids or having a hearing loss test, consult with your physician or hearing specialist.