In the US, around 48 million Americans have some form of hearing loss. Whether you barely even notice it or it’s been severely impacting your daily life, it can be difficult to handle this health condition.
Maybe you’ve finally decided to bite the bullet and get a hearing loss test to see just how much hearing you have left. But because you’ve never gotten one before, you’re feeling a little anxious and apprehensive.
To put your mind at ease, we’ve written this article so you know what to expect.
Symptoms of Hearing Loss
Before we address what happens at your hearing test, let’s first discuss what the common symptoms of hearing loss are. That way, you can determine if hearing loss is truly what’s obstructing your auditory senses, or if it’s something else.
Some of the common symptoms of hearing loss include:
- Muffled speech
- Muffled sounds
- Difficulty understanding words
- Needing to turn up the volume more on the TV or radio
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, then it may be a good idea to get a hearing test.
Causes of Hearing Loss
As we age, all of us naturally experience some degree of hearing loss. This is because our inner ear changes as we get older. Also, other health conditions may affect our hearing, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
In addition, the noise we experience can hasten the hearing loss process. Situations that can do so include:
- Loud music
- Loud noises at work
- Mowing the lawn
- Using power tools
- Shooting guns
- Getting hit on the head
- Taking certain drugs
- Family history of hearing loss
The extent of hearing loss will depend on the individual and how extreme the situations were.
Before Your Hearing Loss Test
When you first suspect you have hearing loss, you’ll have an appointment with an audiologist. They’ll take down your medical history, especially anything that may be related to your hearing. They’ll also ask if you’ve had any traumatic head injuries.
They will also ask about how your hearing loss is affecting your everyday life. For instance, if you’re a musician, then slight hearing loss may be devastating to you.
Now that the audiologist has all your history, then you can proceed with the actual hearing loss test.
What to Expect During a Hearing Exam
You might be really nervous and are wondering how to pass a hearing test. But simply put, there’s no passing or failing; it’s not an exam at school.
Keep in mind that these tests are designed to help you find out where your auditory deficiencies are so the medical professional can better help you. So don’t try to “cheat” the system. Instead, focus on just doing the exam to the best of your abilities so you can help yourself out.
The Exam Booth
To ensure you’re not distracted from outside noise, hearing exams are usually conducted in a soundproof booth. This can keep out ambient noises like air conditioners, heaters, or the hum of electronic devices.
You’ll sit down and put on a pair of headphones, which are connected to an audiometer. This is the device that’ll administer the hearing test.
The hearing loss test is completely non-invasive; you’ll just be asked to listen for certain things in two parts. Read on to find out what they are.
Pure Tone Audiometry
You may have had this test done as a child at school. In this test, you’ll listen for different tones played at varying volumes. When you hear them, you’ll press a button to confirm that you’ve heard these tones.
You’ll hear different words spoken at varying volumes. You’ll have to repeat them back to the audiologist and they’ll see if you’ve heard them correctly.
What Happens Afterward?
At some places, you might receive your hearing test results right away. Otherwise, they’ll be mailed to your GP in a short period of time. You’ll make an appointment with them, and they can explain the results to you then.
If you don’t have very serious hearing defects, your doctor might just suggest making some lifestyle changes to slow the rate of hearing loss. Heed their advice, since you can’t regain your hearing.
If it’s been found that you have significant hearing loss, then they might suggest that you get hearing aids. They can refer you to a hearing center, which specialize in fitting people with the right hearing aids.
They include behind the ear (BTE), in the ear (ITE), and receiver in the ear (RITE). Not only are there different types, but also varying sizes as well. Not to mention, there are additional features like noise reduction, wireless connectivity, remote control, and more.
These centers accept most insurance plans, including Medicaid and Medicare. So you can rest easy knowing you can get these devices without having to spend a fortune.
Don’t Be Nervous About Your Hearing Loss Test
While it can be a little nervewracking to go in for a hearing loss test, just keep in mind that the medical professionals are there to help you figure out how much hearing loss you have, if any. From there, you and your doctor can figure out how to improve it so you can lead as normal a life as possible.
Plus, now that you know what to expect from a hearing exam, hopefully, this has put your mind at ease a bit. Perhaps you’ll be able to sleep a little easier, knowing all the steps that you’ll go through on the big day.
Have you had a hearing test in NYC or Brooklyn and now need hearing aids? Then book an appointment with us now.