Anyone can suffer hearing loss irrespective of age and gender. However, the loss progresses gradually and goes unnoticed until any symptoms are experienced, which is why you should go for hearing assessment every once in a while to ensure healthy hearing.
The hearing tests check the ability of a person to hear sounds of different pitch and loudness. These tests are conducted by professionals called audiologists who chart the results of your tests on a graph indicating the severity and possibilities behind your hearing problems.
Why do you need a hearing test?
Majority of people think that hearing is just about ears. In fact, what they don’t realize is that inefficient hearing impacts the overall health and life of a person. Hearing losses that are not treated timely increase the probability of suffering from dementia, bad cognitive functioning, isolation, and depression. Hence, early treatment is required before it gets too late.
When do you need a hearing test?
If you experience any of the following signs, you should immediately schedule a hearing test with an expert –
- Any type of ringing sensation in the ears
- Encountering people complaining of your loud voice
- Difficulty in hearing and understanding what people say
- Developing a habit of watching television on a high volume
- Meeting an accident or severe injury on the head
What should you expect at a hearing assessment?
A visit to an audiologist is nothing to get anxious about. These individuals are extremely skilled and trained to diagnose and treat hearing issues.
The assessment takes anywhere between 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending upon case to case. However, if it is your first visit, here is all that you can expect during your appointment –
- Discussion of your health history
Just like every other healthcare professional, the audiologists tend to collect your medical history in detail. You may be required to fill a form which will help your audiologist to assess your hearing and determine if the condition has arisen due to any other medical condition. All your hearing complaints and symptoms will be addressed at this stage.
Before heading onto the main hearing test, an audiologist examines your ear canal for deposition of ear wax, infection, or eardrum rupture (if any). It is done thoroughly with an instrument called otoscope. He/she may also carry out tympanometry, which is done by applying light pressure on your eardrum to observe how it responds to it. Any kind of fluid, infection or dysfunctioning can be made out with this test.
This test is carried out in a quiet room where you will be asked to wear headphones and listen to tones and speeches at different pitches and volumes. You will have to push a button or raise your hand when you hear them. This test requires focus because you would have to respond to the softest of sounds.
- Wait for the results
When you will be done with testing, all your results will be displayed on an audiogram and accordingly, your audiologist will recommend the next course of action. You may be referred to some other health specialist, asked for a revaluation after few months, ear cleaning, tinnitus treatment or using hearing aids. The treatment will totally depend on the results.
- Hearing aids
Hearing loss has negligible chances of getting restored. However, you can always find alternatives to keep up with your hearing ability and protect what is left with you. If your audiologist suggests you wear hearing aids, choose a device that is comfortable. Schedule for a hearing aid fitting and take the desired training as to how to use and maintain it.