There are a variety of early warning signs that you might have a hearing loss, but the only way you can really be sure of the extent of the loss, its cause, and the right treatment option is to have a hearing test. Some people shy away from hearing tests because they don’t know what to expect. To help ease your mind and encourage you to let me provide you with a painless, professional hearing assessment, here is what you can expect when you visit us for a hearing test.
You Are a Person and Not a Number
I see what I do as being a partnership with each of my patients. Consequently, the focus of my practice is providing personalized care designed to meet your specific hearing care needs. Our partnership begins by establishing a real-world relationship from the outset.
The first phase of your hearing test is a conversation about who you are, what you do, and the lifestyle you enjoy. Our discussion will lead to concerns you have about your hearing as well as your hearing goals and expectations. To fully understand your situation, I will ask about your family history, your health, and any accidents or events that might have caused hearing damage. Through this initial conversation, we get to know each other, and I develop a better understanding of your needs.
Physical Examination of Your Ears
The second phase of your hearing test is an examination of your ears using an audio scope. This is essentially a magnifying glass with a light, which allows me to take a look inside your ears to examine its physical structures. During this examination, I can identify any damage, obstructions, inflammation, or other causes that might contribute to your hearing health.
Hearing Threshold Tests
This is the phase of the exam that most people call “the hearing” test. I will set you up in a quiet, sound-treated room or enclosure designed to eliminate background noise and distractions. You will be fitted with headphones or soft earplugs connected to an audiometer to conduct three hearing threshold tests:
1. Pure-tone Audiometry
Using the audiometer, I will transmit various tones at different pitches and volumes into the earphones you are wearing. You will respond as you hear them. This test measures the lowest volume of sound you can hear at each tested frequency.
2. Speech Audiometry
Similar to the pure-tone test, I will transmit recorded or live speech through the audiometer into your earphones at various volumes and tones. You will repeat the words you hear, allowing me to identify your capacity to understand others when they speak to you.
3. Speech with Background Noise
This is a variation of speech audiometry but adds background noises at various volumes and tones. This provides me with an assessment of your “real-world” hearing capacity in a variety of environments.
Although not always necessary, I sometimes conduct another test called tympanometry. This test involves a soft plug in your ear, which creates a pressure change and then transmits a sound. This test measures the acoustic reflexes of your eardrum to rule out damage to your middle ear as a possible cause of hearing loss.
Discussing Your Results
The final phase of a hearing test is another conversation. I will present all of the data I gathered from our opening conversation, physical examination, and threshold and tympanometry tests. We will discuss the various options for treatment, if necessary, additional testing that might be required, and any preventative measures to protect further damage. Because we are partners in your hearing health, I will want to know your thoughts, feelings, and preferences so that we can move forward with the plan best suited to your needs and lifestyle.
I’m Eager to Know You
For me, a hearing test is just an opportunity to get to know you. Besides establishing a partnership for better hearing health, I hope to create a new, lasting, and beneficial relationship during each hearing test. Regardless of the course of treatment we take, I am eager to know you and gain your trust. Contact me with any questions or concerns about hearing tests or to set up an appointment today.