When it comes to your hearing health, a hearing test is a crucial step in determining what kind of shape your auditory system is in. A hearing test will determine how well you are able to hear in each ear, and with a full series of tests, will also show where the breakdown in hearing is occurring if there is a loss present. Hearing tests are easy enough to follow through with, but involve complex algorithms that measure how well sound reaches the brain. The good news is hearing tests are easy and painless, and at Keystone Audiology, one of our audiologists will walk you through what to expect.
What to expect at a hearing test
Besides the regular questions related to your personal listening lifestyle, our audiologists will check for earwax. Buildup from earwax can lead to temporary hearing loss until it is cleared. Having your ears professionally cleaned will deter buildup and keep your hearing in optimal shape.
Our hearing test begins with a test called tympanometry. This test will show us how your ear drum is moving, and reveal any issues involved with the function of your middle ear system. This could be anything from an ear infection or ossification of bones in the middle ear. The next test involves pure tone audiometry and uses an audiometer to play tones through a headset. This hearing test will measure how well you hear different pitches and sounds played in each ear. These results will then be charted on an audiogram, which your audiologist will use to show you the hearing ability you have in each ear.
In addition to the pure tone testing, speech testing will be performed to see how the brain responds to the sounds it is hearing. This may include repeating words or sentences, with and without background noise.
The full evaluation should take no more than 20 minutes to complete. Following the test, your audiologist will review all of the results and answer any questions you have about your hearing.
Why is it Important?
There are a number of reasons why hearing tests are an important component to your overall health. For starters, in children, it’s important to catch hearing loss as early as possible to ensure they remain on track when it comes to speech and listening skills. This is why all states require hearing tests for newborn babies born in a hospital.
For adults, things can get a little more complicated when it comes to your hearing health. We often don’t realize how noisy the world is around us, especially if we’re already experiencing hearing loss. Work-related conditions over the years like construction or manufacturing can lead to gradual hearing loss. And in the case of getting older, hearing loss is common, but can also accelerate if the condition isn’t taken care of early on.
If you’re unsure whether you have hearing loss or not, schedule a visit with an audiologist at Keystone Audiology to establish a baseline hearing examination. This will help indicate not only if you have hearing loss, but will also give the audiologist a baseline for where your hearing is to use in the future should you develop any problems.
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Like any condition, treating hearing loss early is the best way to combat it. Hearing tests aren’t scary or painful procedures; in fact, they’re usually quick and completely pain-free! Hearing the world around you is important to not only your overall health, but your emotional wellbeing too! If you suspect you may have hearing loss, schedule an appointment with our office today to have your hearing tested.