To keep track of your health, you need to undergo regular physicals to ensure that no health issues have escaped your attention and that you are proactive about any problems. The same rationale applies to get annual hearing tests. You should keep an eye on your hearing health and be alerted to possible changes.
By the time most people realize they have hearing loss, the damage has already been done. Even if you haven't seen any signs of hearing loss so far, it is still crucial that a hearing professional test your hearing once a year once you are over the age of 50. That way, if you start losing some of your hearing, you'll be ready to address it quickly so it won't affect your life negatively.
Some may be concerned about the prospect of a hearing test, but they don't need to worry! Hearing tests are quick, painless, and non-invasive. In most cases, you should find out everything you need to know within the hour.
What to expect from a hearing test
You'll be asked a series of questions about your hearing health history. Questions can cover many areas in a case history, and some may seem irrelevant, but they are all critical.
They are likely to cover questions about your medical history, current medicines, family history of hearing loss and illness, noise exposure, work history, hobbies, and any comments your family may have made.
Your answers to these questions will help us understand your current hearing condition, hints of what can be expected on the tests, and how you might respond to different treatment options.
3) Hearing tests
The most widespread procedure is the pure-tone test. Here, the sounds of different frequencies and volumes are played separately through headphones in each of your ears. For example, you might hear a high-pitched beep, and press a button if you hear it.
The next test is a word recognition test. This assesses an individual's ability to understand speech in background noise. We play a series of phrases words through headphones, and you repeat them. Word recognition scores may help in predicting how useful a hearing aid is for you.
These tests combine to rule out hearing loss, because you may hear a tone or noise, but you might not understand the actual meaning of the words. That's why we test for the identification of sounds as well as words.
4) Reviewing your hearing test results
Hearing tests are designed to be read by a trained professional and provide clues into the condition of your hearing. These results are crucial for choosing hearing aids or for finding solutions for your hearing.
Audiograms measure the volume and pitch of a sound, measured in decibels and hertz that you can hear within a specific range. Typically, this information is charted on a graph, with the complete audiogram showing the range within which you can listen.
Here are the different levels of hearing loss, and their decibel equivalent:
– Mild: 26-40 dB
– Moderate: 41-55 dB
– Severe: 56-70 dB
– Very Severe: 71-90dB
– Profound: 91-11 dB
Get the most from your appointment
At your appointment, it's important to talk openly about the different situations where it's hard to hear clearly (e.g., in noisy environments, in groups). Taking someone else with you to this appointment could be helpful. Often there's a lot to remember, and two people will stand a better chance of doing so.
The sooner you know you have trouble hearing, the sooner you'll be able to find the right solution, and the less time you spend isolated, disconnected, and at risk for other health issues.
Annual hearing exams can give you the reassurance you are doing all you can to maintain your hearing health and quality of life. Whether you think you may have a hearing loss or require an annual hearing test, take the first step: contact us today, and schedule an appointment.