First things first: congratulations! If you’ve made the decision to take your first hearing test, you are committing to improving your hearing health – and your overall health and well-being. Hearing tests are simple, quick, and painless, and best of all, they give you vital information about your hearing abilities.
As with all tests, we understand that there is a level of nervousness and trepidation about the experience. Here, we break down the steps of a hearing test with us at Accurate Hearing Systems.
Before You Come in for Your Hearing Test
Gather information about your personal medical history, as well as your family’s. Certain types of medication affect your hearing, so if you are taking any, compile a list for your visit. Take note of any times or environments that are more difficult to hear than others. For example, you may find it difficult to follow a conversation in a noisy restaurant, rather than one in the quiet of your own kitchen. Think about your daily schedule, activities, and hobbies. All of these lifestyle factors are important if you need treatment for your hearing loss.
Consultation with Your Hearing Instrument Specialist
When you first arrive, you’ll meet your hearing instrument specialist, Donna R. DeMarco. During this time, you will discuss your medical history, medication, and situations that may impact your hearing. If you recently experienced exposure to loud noises, it is important to let your hearing instrument specialist know. Medication and exposure to loud noises, and even a common cold, could affect your hearing abilities. Your hearing instrument specialist will also discuss your daily schedule, physical activities, employment information, etc. as this will be valuable later.
Physical Otoscopic Exam
Following the conversation, your hearing instrument specialist will utilize an otoscope to examine your ear canal and ear drum. Examining the outer and middle ear helps us rule out infection, injury, or blockage as a cause or influencing factor for hearing impairment. Your hearing instrument specialist will look for impacted earwax, ruptured eardrums, or other signs of damage. This exam is painless and quick.
Pure tone audiometry: You will sit in a soundproof room while your hearing instrument specialist plays a series of tones through your headphones. Each ear will be tested separately. When you hear a sound, you will be asked to raise your hand or push a button. These tones will be played first a low volume and will increase until you can hear them.
Speech recognition test: During this portion, your hearing specialist will read you a series of words and you will be asked to repeat them. The volume for the words will begin at a low volume and rise until you can hear them. Again, you will be tested one ear at a time.
Other tests: To determine the type of hearing loss you may have, we use an air test that tests your inner ear hearing abilities and a bone test that determines how sounds are transmitted through your skull. These tests are also painless and quick, and require no work on your part.
Reviewing Your Audiogram
Results from your hearing tests are recorded on an audiogram, a visual representation of your hearing abilities (visualized separately for each ear). The audiogram shows results in terms of decibel and frequency levels. The speech recognition portion of the test is recorded as a percentage. The audiogram will reveal whether your hearing abilities are normal or whether you experience a hearing loss. If you do experience a hearing loss, the audiogram will also provide information on the type, degree, and configuration of your hearing loss.
Next Steps & Treatment Options
After reviewing your audiogram results with you, and if a hearing loss is detected, your hearing instrument specialist will provide you with a number of treatment options. The most common form of treatment is the use of hearing aids.
Your hearing instrument specialist will recommend a hearing that that best fits your lifestyle and needs, as well as your budget. Here at Accurate Hearing Systems, it is our job to be familiar with leading hearing aid models from major hearing aid brands. There are many different options out there, and today’s hearing aids are equipped to keep up with the most active lifestyles, with rechargeable batteries, enhanced sound, and features such as noise cancellation and speech recognition. With advanced technologies available, we’ll work with you to find the best hearing aid solution to meet your hearing and lifestyle needs.