If you think you are experiencing hearing loss or your loved ones or co-workers have expressed concerns, don’t delay getting a hearing test.
So much can pass you by if you wait, and a hearing test is painless, non-invasive, and private. We will answer all your questions and explain what we are doing and testing for. We will make sure you understand your test results.
Why take a hearing test?
A hearing test will gauge your ability to receive and process sounds. It will determine what type of hearing loss, if any, you have and to what degree. A painless examination of the eardrum and ear muscles will show if there are medical issues you should be aware of. And we will discuss with you and show you the best options to treat hearing loss.
We will go through your personal medical and health history. We’ll inquire about medical conditions like allergies, head colds, infections, and even ear wax, which can contribute to temporary or permanent hearing damage. Family history can help determine if anything hereditary or genetic could lead to hearing issues.
We will ask about environmental factors. Do you work in boisterous conditions? Nearly 30 million people are exposed to harmful noise levels in a working environment each year. The symptoms of hearing loss are essential, and we will discuss them and how they affect your life.
We need to understand your lifestyle, from work to hobbies to social interactions, to make sure all of your concerns are addressed, and we can work out an action plan for you if hearing loss is discovered. The more we know, the more we can assist you.
Physical ear examination
An ear examination is a comprehensive examination of the ears. It’s used to check for ear issues like hearing loss, ear pain, discharge, tumors, or foreign objects in the ear. The ear canal, eardrum, and middle ear can all be examined for abnormalities. Infection, excessive earwax, or an item such as a bean or a bead are all possibilities. An otoscope is used to examine the outer ear canal and eardrum during an ear examination.
Hearing tests are done in a quiet sound-treated room or booth. The area is designed to filter out all sounds that might affect the test, such as the heating and air conditioning system turning on and off, music playing in the outer office, or any office noises such as a printer or keyboarding
Earphones or soft earplugs will be connected to an instrument called an audiometer. The hearing professional will give instructions through the headphones or earplugs to listen for certain tones at different pitches and different volumes.
The test measures from the barest whisper of a sound. You may be asked to raise your hand or push a button when you hear the sounds. You will be asked to concentrate and focus because some of the sounds, tones, and pitches are very soft and hardly audible.
Conversational tones are also tested.
Live or recorded speech is played at different sound levels to measure what you can hear. You will be asked to repeat words to determine if you can understand them.
The results will be shown to you on a graph called an audiogram. It shows the softest sounds you can hear and the different pitches and sound frequencies. Results are plotted in decibels of hearing thresholds. (dB HL) Percentages are not used because the decibel reading is more accurate. Sometimes the readings are adjusted to percentages for disability claims or civil suits – but the decibel reading is more accurate for setting up hearing devices for treatment. Each ear is tested and graphed separately.
Treating Hearing Loss
We will go over the test for each year, discuss what they show and then discuss your options. We are committed to putting you at ease during the test and then making sure you understand the results and all the treatment options you might need. If you suspect you are having hearing issues, call our office today and set up an appointment.