How Does An Audiologist Conduct A Hearing Test?
Hearing tests are an important part of life, and they become even more important as you get older. People over 55 have a one in four chance of having some form of hearing loss. This can happen gradually and may be hard to notice until the problem becomes more pronounced. Hearing loss can be managed, and having regular hearing tests to check will help you to keep living a full life.
Deciding to get a hearing test
People with hearing loss often have a harder time communicating and can be prone to withdraw from others, but managing hearing loss can help you stay connected to those you love. Hearing loss also plays a big role in balance and awareness of your environment. These can lead to falls and other accidents if not managed properly. A hearing check will not only check your ability to hear but the health of your ear as well. Wax buildup, abnormal growths and infections that are caught early can be treated and may prevent hearing loss from happening.
Hearing loss, especially at an early age, can point to a more serious health problem. Identifying this problem will help you be able to treat and manage any other health problems. There are also links between hearing loss and dementia, but managing hearing loss can cut down the chance of having larger problems later.
The first step in getting a hearing test is to find an audiologist who you can trust. Checking reviews and reading about their process will help you feel comfortable.
During the hearing test
You should arrive at your appointment a few minutes early to ensure you can get checked in and review any paperwork before your appointment. Once you are all checked in, and the paperwork is in order, you will meet your audiologist.
To begin the appointment, the audiologist will go over your health history and any other relevant information with you. He or she needs to fully understand your hearing concerns and personal information to give you the best hearing test. These questions may include your symptoms, history of noise exposure, family health history, and in what environments you have trouble hearing. It is essential to be open with your audiologist and ask questions if you don’t understand. It may also be a good idea to write some of these concerns down before going to your appointment, so you are sure not to forget anything.
After the audiologist has a good grasp on your concerns and history, he or she will move on to the physical examination. An otoscope will be used, which is just an instrument to look at your eardrum and check the ear canal for any obstructions. It will also check for infections in the middle ear. If your audiologist uses a video otoscope, then you will be able to see inside your ears as well.
Next, the audiologist will check your hearing using a pure-tone test. You sit in a soundproof booth and use headphones connected to an audiometer that will help the audiologist evaluate your hearing acuity. This test determines your exact threshold for hearing different frequencies. When you hear a sound, you press a button. That is all you have to do, and the audiologist will use that information to evaluate your hearing.
Speech testing will be next. You will listen to some one and two-syllable words at different volumes and then be asked to repeat them back to the audiologist. This helps evaluate the level of speech you can detect and also how well you understand that speech. Sometimes this may also be done with background noise to see if that alters the results.
The results of the tests are recorded on an audiogram, which will help you understand the results with graphics. It will cover the type, pattern, and degree of hearing loss. It will also include hearing problems in terms of frequencies and decibels, but also the percentage of normal speech you can hear. Together, with your audiologist, you can start to make a plan to manage your results.
After the hearing test
No matter what the results of your hearing test are, you will need someone who understands and is trained to help you navigate through treatment. At EarTech Audiology, we believe in a customer-centered experience, so you feel comfortable and informed the entire time. We have over 50 years of combined experience to ensure you are getting the best and most current care. Call us today to get started on your journey at 801-399-9955.