If you suspect you have hearing loss, perhaps you are wondering what you can do about it. Hearing tests can determine not only if you have hearing loss but also its severity. A hearing test will help define the type of hearing loss you are experiencing and the best way to respond to your hearing loss.
Your Medical History
There are many causes for hearing loss, and your medical history can help determine whether a medical condition or your family history contributed to your hearing loss. For example, hearing loss can be related to allergies or head colds with the buildup of sinuses. Also, if you have experienced any trauma to the your head, that may cause temporary or permanent hearing loss.
While there can be severe and permanent hearing loss, at times, it is reversible. During a hearing test, a series of steps are performed to determine the severity of hearing loss. You will be asked to wear headphones or soft earplugs with wires connected to an audiometer to listen to a series of sounds. The procedure is painless and takes between fifteen and twenty minutes. There are five parts to a hearing test:
- Pure-tone audiometry tests – You will hear different sounds and pitches to detect what your ears are capable of hearing. The test will measure the very softest sounds you can hear at each frequency tested.
- Speech audiometry – After hearing recorded or live speech, you will repeat back the words you hear. The sound of speech will help determine your most comfortable listening level and the upper level of your hearing comfort.
- Noise test – As noise increases in the background, you will be asked to repeat the words said by a human voice. This test will help determine how well you hear in noisy environments.
- Tympanometry – By using a soft plug that creates pressure changes while sounds are generated, this test measures how well your eardrum is moving and the reflective responses of your middle ear muscles,
After your hearing test, your audiologist will do a thorough examination of your eardrum and middle ear. This part of the process is imperative to diagnose if your hearing loss is irreversible or fixable.
Although online hearing tests can provide people with a snapshot of their hearing status, they are by no means a replacement for a thorough diagnostic hearing evaluation.
Dr. Joe Griffith, AuD, CCC-A, is a certified audiologist who makes “house calls”. Call him at (504) 738-4557 or visit www.accessiblehearingaids.com to schedule your hearing test today. You are just a phone call away from the hearing help you need and deserve.