Why Hearing Testing is Important
Hearing tests diagnose the appearance of hearing loss, taking into consideration your personal medical history, behavior, and the results of a hearing exam in the form of an audiogram.
Hearing tests are important, as they are the first step to better hearing health. On average, it takes a person seven years from the time they first notice signs of hearing loss until the time they decide to seek treatment. During this time, hearing specialists warn that the effects of hearing loss may take a toll on one’s overall health and well-being.
Hearing tests provide answers: an accurate representation of your hearing abilities and information toward the next step to better hearing health.
How Often Should I Have My Hearing Tested?
Specialists recommend that adults (age 21 to 60) have their hearing tested at least once a year. For younger people who may not be experiencing signs of hearing loss, often times a hearing test is performed at an annual check-up with a physician.
For younger people, such as school-aged children, baseline hearing tests are also recommended, especially if children experience regular ear infection.
It is recommended to have a baseline hearing test even if you have normal hearing and are not experiencing any difficulties hearing. This baseline hearing test will create a better picture of your hearing history – especially if in the future you begin to experience a hearing loss.
Because hearing loss is common among older Americans, specialists recommend that people age 50 and above take a hearing test annually. Early identification of hearing loss and treating hearing loss as soon as possible will benefit your overall health and well-being.
How to Prepare for a Hearing Test
Hearing tests are painless and noninvasive – and unlike other tests, there is not much you must do to prepare!
Your responsibility, in preparation for a hearing test, is taking into account your personal and family medical history, your lifestyle, and your daily activities. All of these elements will provide a better picture for your hearing specialist at Virtue Hearing, which will inform the best course of treatment for hearing loss, if necessary.
If you are currently taking medication, or have recently experienced an illness or medical condition, please provide this information to your hearing specialist. Also, if you’ve recently be exposed to loud noise, take note of when it occurred. Think about the times during the day you may experience difficulty hearing – what environment were you in? how many speakers were there? – as this will also provide important information to your hearing specialist.
What to Expect at a Hearing Test
When you come to visit us at Virtue Hearing, we’ll first have a conversation with you about your personal and family medical history, lifestyle, and daily activities. If you are on any medication, please be sure to inform us.
Following this consultation, your hearing specialist will perform a simple physical examination of your head and ear area. We’ll check to see if there is any injury or obstruction in your eardrum and ear canal.
Next, your hearing specialist will ask you to sit in a soundproof room with headphones on. They will play a series of sounds, at different volumes and frequencies, and you will be asked to indicate when you hear the sounds.
The results of your hearing test are recorded on an audiogram, a visual representation of your hearing abilities, separated by ear. Your hearing specialist will review the audiogram with you. If you are experiencing a hearing loss, your hearing specialist will take into consideration your earlier consultation about your history and lifestyle, will recommend the best course of treatment. Hearing loss is generally treated with the prescription of hearing aids, which are customized for the best fit to meet your specific hearing needs.