Preparing for Your Evaluation
If you’ve noticed changes in your hearing, the first step is to take a hearing exam. It is estimated that people wait an average of seven years from the time they first experience changes until they decide to seek help with their hearing. By addressing changes in your hearing early, you will experience many benefits to your health.
As you are preparing for your hearing exam, there are several things to consider. If you are being treated for a medical condition, note the condition and medication you are taking. You may hear differently throughout the day. Note the times and locations in which you struggle the most with hearing. Compile your personal and family’s medical history, as this will offer extra information to your hearing specialist at your consultation.
At the consultation, you will speak to one of our staff members about your lifestyle, activities, employment, and current experiences with hearing. We’ll ask about your personal and family’s medical history to identify if there is any hereditary hearing loss. If you have been treated recently for an illness or medical condition, we’ll ask about the medications you were prescribed. All of this will come in handy as we proceed with the hearing test.
Following the consultation, your hearing specialist will conduct a physical examination of your head, neck, and ear area. Using an otoscope, your hearing specialist will check the conditions of your ear canals and eardrums. We’re looking to see if there is any blockage due to impacted earwax, inflammation, or damage to your eardrums. This is a painless procedure and only lasts a few minutes.
Hearing tests are designed to assess your current hearing abilities. During the exam, you will be asked to sit in a soundproof room with headphones one.
The pure tone assessment requires you to indicate when you hear a sound. Your hearing specialist will play a series of tones at different frequencies and volumes. You will be asked to raise your hand or push a button if you hear a sound.
In the speech recognition portion of the test, your hearing specialist will read out a series of words at different volumes, standing at various distances from you. You will be asked to repeat the words or phrases.
These are the two most common evaluations. If your specialist requires more testing, we will let you know. Other tests include the otoacoustic emission test and the auditory brainstem response test. These tests indicate if there are issues with your ears’ ability to translate sound signals into neural signals to be registered by the brain as sound. These tests are also common for infants and young children, as it does not require a verbal response from them.
Audiogram: Reviewing the Results
The results of your hearing tests are recorded on an audiogram, a visual representation of your hearing abilities by ear. The speech recognition portion of the hearing evaluation will be recorded as a percentage. From these results, we are able to determine the configuration and degree of hearing loss, if it is present.
The Next Step
If a hearing loss is present, your hearing specialist will recommend treatment. The most common treatment for hearing loss is the prescription of hearing aids. At Glendora, we offer hearing aids from leading manufacturers and will guide you through every step of the fitting process.