5 Things to Expect During a Hearing Test
Hearing tests are an important part of taking care of your hearing health. Children of all ages have frequent hearing tests from the time of their birth to their elementary school years. Adults, too, should go for hearing tests to make sure that their hearing is normal. Experts suggest that adults should be screened for hearing at least once every decade until they are 50 years old, and at least every three years after that.
If you think it’s time for you to get your hearing checked, don’t waste another day. Here is a list of things to help you get prepared for the day of your hearing test.
- Your medical history: The first thing that happens when you go to a hearing care professional’s office for a hearing test is that you are given a form with questions about your hearing, medical history and lifestyle. This form is similar to the one you fill out at the office of any healthcare professional that you visit for the first time. Once you have filled out your case history form, your hearing specialist will discuss your answers with you in order to be better prepared to provide you with individualized care.
- Visual examination: Most hearing providers start off the hearing evaluation with a visual exam of your ear. They do this by using an instrument, called an otoscope, to look into your ear canal to see if it is clean and if the eardrum looks normal. Any obstruction, such as excessive earwax, will be noted by your hearing care professional for later recommendations.
- Hearing test: The hearing test is the next thing on the agenda. You will be taken to a soundproof room and asked to wear headphones or earphones. The hearing specialist will use an audiometer to send a series of tones to each of your ears. You will be asked to respond in a certain way when you hear something. This kind of test normally tries to gauge what is the softest sound that you can hear from each ear.
- Speech testing: Being able to hear words is also an important part of hearing. During a speech test, you will be presented with several different kinds of words through a recording or the hearing care provider saying them through a microphone. You will be asked to repeat the words that you hear. The test will be done in different conditions, such as various volumes, with and without background noise, and using different kinds of words. Speech testing essentially tests your word recognition ability and how well you process speech.
- Discussion: After all the tests are done, your hearing healthcare professional will discuss the results with you and talk about where to go from there. If hearing aids are the right form of treatment for your hearing loss, your hearing specialist will discuss hearing aid features and benefits with you and even demonstrate them in your ear to let you experience hearing with hearing aids.
If you’re concerned you may have hearing loss, don’t hesitate to contact a hearing care provider in your area and schedule a test today!