Hearing tests should have equal importance as having your cholesterol or blood pressure checked, an annual physical, or an eye test when it comes to maintaining your overall wellness. In spite of the fact that hearing loss is the third most common health issue in America, hearing tests are low on the list of health priorities. The hesitancy of getting your hearing tested might come from not knowing what to expect.
To encourage you to consider making hearing health a priority and to help put Southern Nevada and Southwestern Utah residents at ease about hearing tests, here is what you can expect during your first hearing test.
A Friendly Conversation
We’ll start off with a friendly conversation. This provides you with an opportunity to ask questions about hearing issues, express your concerns about hearing aids and other treatment options, and get to know your audiologist better.
Your audiologist also wants to know you better, so answering questions relating to your medical history and any medications you take as well as your occupation, hobbies, and lifestyle is a crucial part of your test. These questions help us to identify ototoxic medications, injuries, noise exposure, and other possible factors that tend to produce hearing loss.
A Physical Examination of Your Ears
You’ve seen an otoscope (a magnifying glass with a tapered end and a light on the tip) without knowing what it is called. Doctors of all types, especially doctors of audiology, use them to examine your ear canal. Because obstructions in the hearing pathway or ear canal are a leading cause of conductive hearing loss, your audiologist will look for infection related inflammation, a tumor or growth, compacted earwax, an object or a bug lodged in the ear canal, and other types of blockages.
In some cases, the only hearing loss treatment you need involves the removal of an obstruction or medication to deal with an infection.
After the physical examination of your ears, we’ll seat you in a soundproof booth and fit you with a set of headphones. You will be instructed to respond to each tone or spoken word you hear. These sounds will be transmitted at various frequencies (pitches) and volume levels into your headphones.
We will also add various types and levels of background noise along with the words or tones for a real world evaluation of your hearing.
An additional test will include a bone conduction test using a different type of headset designed to bypass the hearing pathway and transmit tones directly to the inner ear and auditory nerves. This helps us to distinguish between conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.
We’ll also use tympanometry testing, which is designed to evaluate how your eardrum and middle ear structures respond to sounds and pressure changes.
Reviewing Your Results.
Unlike most diagnostic tests, your audiologist will have your test results immediately and he or she will take the time to explain each outcome and what it means. If hearing loss is identified, your audiologist will also explain the best treatment options to pursue. We consider your hearing care as a partnership, so your input during this discussion is critical to personalizing the treatment process that meets your hearing care needs as well as fits your lifestyle and personal preferences.
If hearing loss is not an issue, your audiologist will provide recommendations to prevent damage to your ears and help you to maintain better auditory health.
Hearing and Balance Doctors Provides Comprehensive Hearing Assessments
Residents in Southwestern Utah and Southern Nevada survive by continuing their active and independent lifestyles, but staying that way involves placing hearing care near the top of your list of healthcare priorities. Your first step to better hearing health is a hearing assessment. Hearing and Balance Doctors has the expertise and equipment to diagnose your hearing loss and prescribe the treatment that best fits your hearing needs, lifestyle, and personal preferences.
If you or a loved one struggles with hearing or wants to get a head start on better hearing care, contact us with your questions and concerns or to schedule a comprehensive hearing assessment.