If you suspect yourself to have sustained hearing loss recently to the degree that it concerns you, your best course of action will be to consult with your nearest hearing clinic or healthcare practitioner, who can arrange a hearing test for you. These tests do not only gauge the severity of the damage, but also determine what category of deafness ails you. This article provides you with a brief guide on what to expect from your first hearing test. As soon as you obtain an audiogram, you can shop for affordable custom-programmable hearing aids for yourself or your loved one.
Speed and painlessness
First of all, you shouldn’t fret about any intrusive or uncomfortable probing. The test is typically pretty fast and relaxed. Remember – the hearing health professional who will be undertaking your hearing exam is a skilled and well-practiced individual.
The first action of the health care professional will likely be to ask you a few questions about you to determine if there should be any obvious cause to your deafness. They will have you go over your medical history, and more specifically your past relationship with hearing health. In doing so, the practitioner will likely gain an insight into what type of hearing loss you are experiencing – and where it came from.
Next is the visual examination using an otoscope. This device will allow for a thorough visual examination of your eardrums and ear canals. Any physical anomaly will be at this stage evident, such as a build-up of impacted wax.
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This stage acts as the practical test of your hearing abilities. It takes place in a sound treated testing booth, in which you will be accosted by a range of diverse sounds, differing in tone and volume. You will be asked to raise your hand or push a button if you can hear the noise produced. The experts know this part of the test as pure tone audiometry; it will appraise your ability to make out noises at certain frequencies. Communication with your practitioner, as well as the test itself, will be implemented via the use of headphones within the booth.
Further Tests and Measures
The issue of further testing is dependent on the opinion of your practitioner. A common follow up is to test your ability to recognise words and sentences. In other cases, it may be suitable to perform an assessment of your acoustic reflexes by way of tympanometry. To do this, the practitioner will simulate pressure changes on your eardrum by placing a soft plug in your ear. Contingent on the outcome of your procedure, you may then be prescribed a hearing aid or some other form of medication to treat the underlying condition. It is important to take your hearing seriously, as it could drastically affect your life. Often, deafness slowly progresses over time and so is hard to pick up on. Even if you only have a sneaking suspicion of hearing loss, it may benefit you to get your ears checked.