Regular hearing tests are an important way to maintain your best health and well-being. Your first comprehensive hearing evaluation will allow you to establish a “baseline,” which can then be compared to subsequent tests. The baseline allows you to keep tabs on your hearing ability over time, which is important for a number of reasons:
- It can alert you to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) before it becomes problematic, allowing you to improve your hearing protection measures.
- It can let you know when hearing loss has reached a problematic degree, such that hearing aids are necessary in order to keep your hearing ability uninterrupted.
- A hearing loss that progresses unusually rapidly can indicate an underlying cardiovascular issue. By noticing a more rapid loss early, you can receive the medical attention that could save your hearing and your life.
The frequency with which your hearing should be tested varies from person to person. The Better Hearing Institute, a non-profit organization, recommends getting a hearing test once every decade until age 50, and once every three years after that.
Those who work around loud noise or who are at a higher risk of hearing loss for medical reasons should be tested more frequently. We recommend that those over 50 be tested yearly in order to minimize the risk of living with untreated hearing loss, which can result in unfortunate complications even in the earliest stages.
What To Expect at a Comprehensive Hearing Test
Hearing loss can have any number of underlying causes. In order to ensure that you receive the most appropriate treatment, we conduct a series of tests that measure different aspects of your hearing and help identify the correct causes.
When you arrive for your first comprehensive hearing exam, we’ll ask you to fill out a questionnaire. We’ll ask questions about your lifestyle, medical history, family medical history, whether you’re having any hearing issues, and when. This helps us identify what the causes of hearing loss may be, what to watch out for in the future, and helps us get a sense of the treatment options that may be best for you and your particular needs.
Next, you’ll have a short conversation about your answers to the questionnaire with your hearing specialist. This will help us get an even better sense of what might be going on with your hearing.
Now the test can begin! All parts of the test are completely painless, and the whole thing takes about a half-hour.
After the Tests
Your hearing specialist will go over your results with you. If you have hearing loss to a degree that should be treated, they’ll help you select the hearing aids that will be the best fit for your hearing loss and lifestyle.