Comprehensive Hearing Evaluations
Do you have hearing loss? Hearing loss is often a very gradual process, and it’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment hearing loss starts to impact your quality of life. The best way to monitor your hearing health is through regular hearing evaluations at Clear Hearing and Audiology. Hearing evaluations will uncover a hearing loss, determine if your hearing loss is mild, moderate, or severe, and discover exactly which sounds you can’t hear. A hearing evaluation can also tell you what kind of hearing loss you have, whether sensorineural, conductive, or mix hearing loss. A comprehensive hearing evaluation will help you make an informed decision about your treatment options, and make smart choices for your hearing health.
Recognizing the Symptoms of Hearing Loss
You should schedule a regular hearing test every 1 to 3 years, or as soon as you recognize any of the symptoms of hearing loss. Ask yourself the following questions about your hearing abilities, and be completely honest with yourself.
Do conversations lack clarity?
Is it difficult to hear in background noise?
Is it difficult to focus on important speech sounds?
Is it hard to hear the speaker at a meeting, service, or event?
Do you ask people to repeat themselves several times during a conversation?
Does it seem like everyone is mumbling or speaking too softly?
Is it challenging to have a conversation on the phone?
Have you been turning up the volume on the TV a little more each week?
Have you noticed a ringing or buzzing in your ears?
If you answered yes to 2 or more of these questions, you probably have a hearing loss. Don’t ignore the symptoms of hearing loss, and schedule a hearing evaluation right away.
Step 1: A Hearing Health History
When you come in for a comprehensive hearing evaluation, the first thing we’ll do is discuss your hearing health history and medical health history. We want to find out what experiences you have with hearing loss, and what hearing or medical concerns you may have. Learning your hearing health history will help us pinpoint the cause of your hearing loss, and look for any medical or genetic causes for your hearing loss.
We’ll ask you about any allergies you have, or if you’ve ever had ear infections. We will also ask if you have had a head trauma or injury that could impact your hearing. We may ask you about exposure to noise in your professional life, or during leisure activities. Noise induced hearing loss is more common than ever before, and knowing if you’ve been exposed to dangerously loud sounds will tell us more about your unique hearing loss.
As part of a hearing health history, we’ll also ask you a few questions about your lifestyle and hearing needs. Are you very active? Do you work in a noisy setting? Do you attend a lot of social events? What are your hobbies? Are you struggling to hear on the phone? We want to know what activities you miss the most, and find a treatment option that will help you hear where you need it the most.
Step 2: A Brief Physical Exam
After reviewing your hearing health history, we’ll take a moment to look in your ears with an otoscope. This is completely non-invasive, and allows us to look in your ear canal, or even see the eardrum. We will look for signs of any infection or inflammation, or other damage to the ear. We’ll also check to see if you have a build up of earwax that could be affecting your hearing.
Step 3: The Hearing Test
During the hearing test, we control the sound environment to make sure there are no background noises that could impact the hearing test. You won’t hear a heater, far, or other noise in the office. We’ll ask you to wear a pair of headphones, and play a series of soft and loud sounds at a variety of pitches to find out what you can and can’t hear. All you need to do is indicate when you’ve heard a sound.
There are several hearing tests we may perform during the comprehensive evaluation. These include:
Pure tone test: In this test, you’ll hear single tones at a number of different pitches and volumes. We’ll ask you to stay focused, and let us know whenever you hear a tone. With this test, we’ll find out your hearing range, and your ability to hear soft sounds.
Speech test: This test uses speech instead of tones. We’ll play a word or two and ask you to repeat the word. We’ll play the speech sounds at a variety of pitches and volumes, and measure your speech comprehension threshold.
Speech in noise test: It’s hard to hear in noisy environments, and a speech in noise test will test your ability to focus on important speech sounds when there’s a lot of background noise.
Step 4: Seeing your Results
After the hearing tests, we’ll go over your hearing results with you. The results are printed on an audiogram. This is a graph that visually shows you the softest sounds you can hear at all the different pitches. It will also show you the results for each ear. These results will determine if you have mild, moderate, or severe hearing loss. We will also see if your hearing loss is sensorineural or conductive. The results will help us recommend the best treatment options for your hearing loss.
After the Comprehensive Hearing Test
Once the test is complete and you’ve looked at your results, it’s time to talk about treatment options! At Clear Hearing and Audiology, we work with the world’s top hearing aid manufacturers, and have treatment options available for mild, moderate, severe, or single-sided hearing loss. Based on your lifestyle and hearing needs, we’ll find hearing devices that will fit seamlessly into your life, and help you hear the sounds you’ve been missing.