Tests can be nerve racking and anxiety producing. While most of us have been out of school for years, there are plenty of test results that still matter. If you think you may have hearing loss, chances are you have contacted your audiologist and scheduled an initial visit. While there, they will perform a series of tests to determine your type and degree of hearing loss, information that is crucial when putting together your individualized treatment plan.
Knowing what to expect before walking into the office will help you feel more prepared.
Your Hearing History
Before any testing is done, you and your audiologist will sit down and discuss your hearing health and medical history, as well as any concerns you may have.
They will review your family’s history of hearing loss, as it is known to have a genetic component. Since there are a number of medical conditions, such as head injuries, ear infections, allergies and even head colds, that can cause hearing loss, your medical history will be important.
Hearing loss has also been linked to a number of dangerously loud professions, such as construction and entertainment. Hobbies including hunting, playing an instrument and even surfing can damage your ears. Knowing how you spend your time and listening situations you find yourself in can help your audiologist with their diagnosis.
Finally, your audiologist will review your symptoms and understand how they are impacting your daily life. The most common symptoms of hearing loss include:
- Muffled speech
- Difficulty understanding words
- Trouble hearing consonants
- Frequently asking others to repeat themselves or speak more clearly
- Turning up the volume of the television or radio
- Avoiding social situations
- Withdrawing from conversations
Your Hearing Test
Hearing tests are non-invasive and painless. Most are performed in a quiet, sound-proof booth. You may be asked to wear headphones or earplugs with wires connected to a computer.
Pure Tone Audiometry
This test involves listening to tones at a variety of volumes and pitches. The sounds will be played through a set of headphones; every time you hear a tone, you will be instructed to raise your hand. This test measures the softest sounds you can hear at each frequency tested.
This test is used to determine the softest speech sounds you can hear and understand. Words will be presented through the headphones, and you will be asked to repeat them back.
If needed, speech sounds will be used to determine your comfortable listening level and upper limit of comfort for listening.
This test examines your acoustic reflexes. A soft plug is placed in your ear to create pressure changes, and sounds are played through the plugs. Your audiologist will be able to determine how well your eardrum moves and measure the reflexive response of your middle ear muscles to the sounds.
What Are Your Next Steps?
Once your audiologist has the results of your tests, they are able to determine your degree of hearing loss. From there, they can recommend an appropriate treatment plan.
To learn more about hearing tests or to schedule your own, contact the experts at Total Hearing Care of Dallas today.