People wait an average of seven years to seek treatment for their hearing loss. If you are one of these people, chances are you have some apprehension about getting a hearing test that’s been holding you back. Below is an overview of what to expect from your first hearing test:
Full Health History
Before any tests are administered, your audiologist will first take a detailed account of your hearing and health history. They’ll ask how hearing loss impacts your daily life, what listening environments have been most challenging and what you hope to change. They will also ask you what questions you have for them, so take notes on what you want to talk about, and come prepared.
Your health history will also help your provider determine any genetic conditions you have that could predispose you to hearing loss, as well as any environmental factors, may contribute to the condition. Even problems as innocuous as earwax buildup, allergies and ear infections can contribute to hearing loss, so be sure to mention everything.
The Hearing Test
Hearing tests are painless, non-invasive and take less than an hour. Most take place in quiet, soundproof rooms. You may see speakers around the room, which are used for testing infants and small children. During the test, you will be asked to wear headphones or earplugs.
There are a number of hearing tests that may be conducted. These include:
Pure Tone Audiometry
During this test, you’ll listen to tones at varying pitches and volumes. The audiologist will give you instructions throughout the test, and will likely ask you to indicate whenever you hear one of the tones, even if it is very faint. The purpose of this test is to measure the quietest sounds you can hear at various frequencies.
This test is similar to the pure tone audiometry, except that instead of tones you’ll be asked to listen for spoken or recorded speech. You will listen for words and phrases and repeat back what you hear word-for-word in order to determine how precisely you understand speech, and what the lowest volume of speech you can detect speech is.
This test measures the acoustic reflexes of your ear. You’ll wear a soft earplug that creates pressure changes and generates sound in order to determine how well the eardrum is moving.
For more information or to schedule your hearing test, contact the Hearing Center of Lake Charles!