Otoscope and headphones on top of audiogram

The hearing exam honestly is the easy part. The tricky part is acknowledging your hearing loss and actually setting up the hearing test in the first place.

You’ve probably read the statistics by now: 48 million people in the US have 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 wear them.

So if you’ve already arranged your hearing test, great job, you’ve already conquered the greatest hindrance to better hearing.

The hearing exam, as you’ll notice, is a simple and easy, non-invasive process that will identify the severity of your hearing loss to help determine the best suited method of treatment.

Shortly after you initially arrive at the office, you’ll start by filling out some paperwork. Then, you’ll meet with your hearing care provider to review your hearing health history.

Your Hearing Health History

Your hearing loss, if existing, can be a consequence of direct exposure to loud sound, the natural aging process, or by an underlying ailment. You’ll want to exclude any underlying conditions before moving on to the actual hearing exam.

If you have an earwax impaction, for example, you could be hearing better within a few minutes after a professional cleaning. The existence of any other conditions will be considered and the applicable referral made, if required.

After examining your general medical history, you’ll review your subjection to loud sounds, your hearing loss symptoms, and what you wish to achieve with better hearing.

It’s important to determine potential causes, how symptoms are having an effect on your life, and how better hearing will enhance your life, which is after all the whole point. Be wary of the practitioner that doesn’t appear to care about the main reasons why you desire to improve your hearing in the first place.

Testing Your Hearing

There’s one more step prior to beginning the hearing test: the visual examination of the ear with a device known as an otoscope. This will help in ruling out any issues with the ear canal, the eardrum, or the surplus buildup of earwax.

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

You’ll be presented with a variety of sounds at multiple frequencies, and you’ll be requested to identify the quietest sounds you can hear at each pitch. This is termed your hearing threshold, and the hearing care professional will record these values on a chart known as an audiogram.

The hearing test will probably also entail speech testing, where you’ll be instructed to repeat the words presented to you. Various types of words, delivered at various volumes with and without background noise, will be presented. This will help ascertain if hearing aids can assist you with speech comprehension.

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

Reviewing Your Hearing Test Results

Referencing your audiogram, your hearing care provider will now discuss your hearing in both ears. Determined by the results, your hearing will be classified as normal or as exhibiting mild, moderate, severe, or profound hearing loss.

If a hearing loss is found, the next move is discussing your treatment options. Since there are no current medical or surgical treatments to restore hearing damage, this means evaluating your hearing aid options.

Modern day hearing aids are available in a diverse mix of shapes, sizes, and colors, at a variety of price points with a number of advanced features. In selecting your hearing aids, it’s important to work with an experienced hearing care professional for three main reasons:

  1. They can help you identify the ideal hearing aid model to satisfy all of your objectives.
  2. They can help you determine the advanced functions you need—as well as with the ones you don’t—at a price that works with your budget.
  3. They can program your new hearing aids to amplify only the sounds you have trouble hearing—established by the hearing test—ensuring the best possible sound quality.

And that’s it, a quick, easy procedure in return for a lifetime of healthier hearing. We’d say that’s a very good deal.

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