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Everything You Need to Know About Hearing Tests
When patients think of a hearing test, they often mistake it for their general practitioner quickly checking their ears. This is not a hearing test, and most likely you may have not had a hearing test since grade school. Hearing issues are very common as you get older, often individuals struggle to recognize it as it often happens gradually. If you’re thinking about seeing an audiologist or wanting to look into getting a hearing test, then these are a few things you should know to expect.
What Are the Signs of Needing a Hearing Test?
Hearing tests are appropriate for all ages and getting your hearing check needs to be done regularly anyway. If you’ve noticed that your hearing isn’t as good as it once was then it’s time to visit your local audiologist. Those who are most at risk of age-related hearing loss are people over the age of 60 but also you can be at risk if your job often has you exposed to loud noises. Just like your vision, your hearing changes with age, so treatments and hearing aids can help slow down the process of permanent hearing loss. Signs that you need a heating test can include:
- Hearing a constant ringing in your ears
- Needing to frequently ask people to repeat themselves
- Devices such as television have the volume on high
- Struggling to focus on a conversation due to background noise
Hearing loss is gradual so may go on for years before receiving a proper diagnosis.
Will the Appointment Include a Consultation?
Your audiologist will ask you a series of questions that involve your health concerns and how your lifestyle is. You will often need to give your medical history as well as the list of medications that you’re currently taking or recently taken in the past.
Are Hearing Tests Painful?
Hearing tests are very painless and often non-invasive. The most common hearing tests will involve you sitting in a booth or a quiet room while wearing noise-canceling headphones. These will be connected to an instrument called an audiometer which will conduct the test. Depending on the test you may have to respond by pushing or raising your hand to your audiologist. Some of these hearing tests may involve the pitches of sounds and frequencies that you can hear, while others may only detect what vibrations your ears can identify.
What Are Some Types of Hearing Tests?
Hearing tests will determine your ability to hear a different range of frequencies, tones, vibration, and whether or not you can distinguish certain sounds when background noise is present. Most of these hearing tests will express frequencies in decibels and hertz. The most common hearing tests are:
- The pure-tone audiometry hearing test
- The Otoacoustic emission test
- The speech discrimination test
- The tympanometry test
Some of these tests focus on the sounds you hear while others focus on how your ears are functioning.
You will receive your results back almost immediately. The results of your hearing tests are charted on an audiogram. These lines and dots record the tones that you can perceive at what frequency. The decibels you can hear are recorded on the horizontal lines which indicate how loud or soft certain sounds are that you’re able to hear. Each ear from each hearing test will have its own audiogram.