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What to Expect During a Hearing Test

Our sense of hearing plays a crucial role in our everyday lives. A hearing test can help ensure we can hear clearly, communicate effectively, enjoy our favorite music, and remain alert to the sounds of our environment. However, many of us experience changes in our hearing as we age or due to exposure to loud noise, illness, or injury. If you are concerned about your hearing or want to establish a baseline for future tests, it might be time to consider having a hearing test.

When Should You Have a Hearing Test?

During childhood, hearing tests are recommended at birth and throughout the school years. However, everyone should receive a regular hearing assessment to monitor any changes in their hearing over time. Adults without signs of hearing loss and who are not exposed to dangerous noise levels should consider having a hearing exam every ten years. If you work in a noisy environment or think your hearing has changed, you should speak to your doctor about scheduling a hearing test. Moreover, those over the age of 50 should receive a hearing test every three years as a preventative measure.

Reasons Why You May Need a Hearing Exam

Hearing tests are critical for maintaining optimal auditory health. They can detect early signs of hearing loss or other auditory problems that may impact your quality of life. Here are some reasons why you may need a hearing exam:

  • Exposure to loud noise: Regular exposure to loud noise, whether from work, leisure activities, or prolonged headphone use, can lead to noise-induced hearing loss.
  • Difficulty in understanding speech: If you find yourself frequently asking people to repeat themselves or you often misunderstand what others are saying, particularly in noisy environments, it’s a good idea to get a hearing test.
  • Tinnitus: Tinnitus is characterized by a persistent ringing, buzzing, or humming sound in the ears. It’s often associated with hearing loss.
  • Family history: If your family has a history of hearing loss, you may be genetically predisposed to it. Regular hearing exams can help detect any issues early.
  • Ear infections, trauma, or disease: Conditions such as repeated ear infections, physical trauma to the ear, or diseases like Meniere’s can cause hearing loss.
  • Difficulty hearing in one ear: If you notice one ear hears better than the other, it’s time for a check-up.
  • Medications: Certain medications, known as ototoxic drugs, may affect your hearing. These include some types of antibiotics, cancer drugs, and high doses of aspirin.

How Is a Hearing Test Conducted?

A hearing test, also known as an audiogram, is a simple, non-invasive procedure that measures your ability to hear sounds at different frequencies and volumes. The procedure is conducted in a quiet, sound-treated room by a trained audiologist. Here is what you can expect:

Preliminary Consultation

At the beginning of your appointment, your audiologist will discuss your medical history and any specific concerns you have about your hearing. This consultation helps your audiologist understand your lifestyle, your personal and family health history, and any specific symptoms you may have noticed.

Physical Examination

The audiologist will look into your ears using an otoscope. This allows the professional to examine your ear canal and eardrum for any physical issues, such as earwax buildup, infection, or structural abnormalities affecting your hearing. If the specialist finds any problems, they may recommend treatment before continuing with the hearing exam.

The Audiometry Test

This is the main part of the hearing test. You will be asked to wear headphones connected to an audiometer. The audiologist will play a series of tones at different frequencies and volumes into each ear one at a time. You will respond by pressing a button or raising your hand when you hear the sound. This test helps the audiologist understand how well you can perceive different sounds and pinpoint specific frequencies that may be causing issues.

Speech Testing

In addition to the audiometry test, you may also be asked to participate in a speech recognition test. This involves repeating words presented in increasingly soft tones or loud background noise to evaluate your ability to distinguish between different sounds and speech. Your hearing often impacts your ability to communicate effectively, and this test helps assess any issues.

After The Test

Once the test is completed, your audiologist will explain the results and provide a graphical representation of your hearing. If any hearing loss is detected, the audiologist will discuss treatment options, including hearing aids, cochlear implants, or lifestyle changes. A hearing exam is just the first step towards ensuring you can hear the best you can. This is why it is important to follow up with regular hearing tests.

Test Your Hearing With The Ear & Sinus Institute

A hearing test is the first step to improving your quality of life. It can provide insight into the health of your ears and, most importantly, determine if you have hearing loss. Don’t take your hearing for granted. It’s time to listen to the warning signs, and the first step is a comprehensive hearing exam. Make the most of our top-notch services at the Ear & Sinus Institute, and book an appointment today.

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Call Us to Schedule an Appointment: (817) 332-4060
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