If you’ve recently booked yourself in for a hearing test, now is the time to pat yourself on the back. You’ve just taken a big step towards maintaining your hearing health, and it’s an important step to take.
You might feel a bit nervous, especially if you’ve never had a hearing test before. But at All About Hearing, we’re here to reassure you that there’s nothing to worry about. Hearing tests are simple to take and they are pain free. Plus, you’ll get your results immediately afterwards, so there is no anxious pacing involved.
In this blog, we’ll give you a preview of what you can expect, so you can be relaxed at your appointment.
A Friendly Chat
After you are greeted by our receptionist, you will soon be called into the office to meet your audiologist. Instead of jumping straight into the test, we will need to find out some information from you regarding your medical background.
Often hearing loss is hereditary, so we will ask if any other family member also has a hearing loss. We will also ask about your recent health. Sometimes things like colds, head injuries, and excess earwax can play a part in hearing loss. In fact, we’ll even take a peek inside your ears to make sure everything looks healthy and there is no earwax build up.
We’ll also ask about your current environment and lifestyle. Do you go to lots of music concerts and expose your ears to loud music for long periods of time? Do you work in a quiet or noisy work environment?
Your current concerns and experiences are also important to us. We’ll want to know how your hearing is affecting your life and with what parts you are struggling.
Once we have a good picture of your health and lifestyle, we’ll begin the hearing test.
The Hearing Test
While the main purpose of your hearing test is to find out what you can and can’t hear, it will also act as a guide for us in the future. We’ll be able to monitor if and how much your hearing changes from one appointment to the next.
We’ll also find out whether you have conductive hearing loss or sensorineural hearing loss. This is important to know because the treatment can differ between the two types.
The hearing test comprises of two parts – pure tone audiometry and speech tone audiometry.
For the pure tone audiometry test, we’ll ask you to wear some headphones and give you a button to press at specific times. We’ll play for you a range of tones and pitches. Whenever you hear a sound, you’ll press the button. Your results will be recorded by an audiometer. This will tell us the softest levels of sound that you can hear at each frequency.
The speech tone audiometry test is similar but with words. First, we’ll ask you to repeat a list of words and they will be spoken to you at different volume levels. This test will determine the lowest volume in which you can hear and understand words.
Next, we’ll ask you to repeat a series of words. This will determine how easily you can recognize words and tell the difference between them.
Sometimes, we’ll perform an extra test called a tympanometry to check on your acoustic reflexes. We’ll place a soft plug onto your ear. From a combination of pressure changes and various sounds, we’ll be able to find out how well your eardrum moves and check your middle ear muscles’ reflexive responses.
Getting your results
Now that the test is completed, you can let out a gentle sigh and look forward to your results. Together, we’ll take a look at your audiogram – a graph that illustrates the softest sounds you can hear at different frequencies. Each ear will have its own results and this is what we use to determine the level of hearing loss that you have.
We’ll let you know what type of hearing loss you have and discuss the best treatment route. If hearing aids can help you, we’ll explain the different types and which kind could benefit you the most.
While it is entirely up to you whether you choose to go ahead with hearing aids, we’ll also explain the negative effect untreated hearing loss can have on your health. Either way, you’ll receive all the information you need to make your ultimate decision.
All About Hearing is Midland, Texas’s hearing care expert. We are committed to caring for your hearing and overall wellbeing, ensuring that you get the most out of life. To begin your journey to better hearing, phone us today at 432-689-2220.
Dr. Sally earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1991 and a Master of Arts degree in 1994 at the University of Texas at Austin. She earned her Doctor of Audiology degree in 2000 from the University of Florida. She became the first Doctor of Audiology in Midland and was among the first in the state when the requirements to practice Audiology changed from a Master’s Degree to a Doctorate. In 2011 she was recognized as Business Woman of the Year from the Midland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.