If you’re considering taking a hearing test from your Hearing Instrument Specialist, it’s only natural that you might have some questions. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions and the answers that you may be seeking.
When should I have a hearing test?
If you’re experiencing any symptoms of hearing loss including muffled noises, difficulty understanding speech or struggling to hear in noisy environments, you should schedule an appointment as soon as you can. Otherwise, it’s recommended that you have a hearing test as part of your annual physical after you’re 65, and at least once before then.
What are the different kinds of hearing loss, and what do they mean?
Simply put, there are different levels or severities of hearing loss. In order of ascending severity, hearing loss is classified as: mild, moderate, severe, and profound.
- Mild hearing loss is usually only noticed in specific situations and may not require someone to wear a hearing aid outside of certain environments. This is when you cannot hear sounds quieter than about 15-20dB.
- Moderate hearing loss patients cannot hear sounds lower than 40-69dB. Individuals usually ask people to repeat themselves a lot during conversations. Moderate hearing loss can typically be treated effectively with standard hearing aids.
- Severe hearing loss individuals cannot hear people speaking without the use of a hearing aid. People with this degree of hearing loss cannot hear sound lower than 70-94dB.
- Profound hearing loss cannot be managed without powerful hearing instruments or even cochlear implant. People may prefer using sign language to communicate and cannot hear sound lower than 95dB.
How can I prepare?
It’s good to ensure you have all your medical records and history on hand, as well as jotting down any symptoms you have felt recently and what medication you are taking. You should also take note of the kind of environment you work, live and spend time in, especially if it exposes you to loud noises. You may also want to consider bringing someone with you if you have difficulty communicating or if the hearing test is in any way making you nervous.
What’s involved in a hearing test?
For starters, you will be asked questions about your general health, hearing health, and lifestyle. Following that, the Hearing Instrument Specialist will perform a visual exam of the outer ear using a device called an otoscope. After that, you will undergo tests that involve listening to tones or speech at different pitches, volumes, and levels of background noise. How you respond to these tests will help the Hearing Instrument Specialist assess you and determine a comprehensive summary of your hearing health.
How long does the hearing test take?
In most cases, it takes around an hour. However, you will want to set aside more time than this. At the Hearing Instrument Specialist’s discretion and your permission, they may recommend additional tests such as one that tests the reflexes of your eardrum, if they have reason to suspect there might be an issue.
What comes next if I have hearing loss?
If you are diagnosed with hearing loss, then your Hearing Instrument Specialist is the best person to guide you through the process. They may arrange a follow-up appointment to help you choose from a selection of hearing aid devices that can help you correct your hearing and ensure the highest quality of life.
If you have any questions that aren’t answered above, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your Hearing Instrument Specialist. They will ensure your hearing health is protected, and that includes helping you feel informed and comfortable with your treatment. If you are interested in scheduling an appointment, you can click HERE.