Hearing Tests: What You Need to Know About Them
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Hearing loss will occur as we get older, this is due to our lifestyle and how well we take care of our ears, but it also occurs naturally. There are various ways hearing loss could happen, whether by accident, birth, sickness, or growing older.
Those of us who find ourselves dealing with a hearing impairment will get in touch with an audiologist. An audiologist’s job is to help people who are experiencing hearing loss by identifying, assessing and, aiding patients with their progress, and subsequently, their hearing loss.
Since we lose our hearing as we get older, we need to go to the audiologist every ten years until we are around 40-50 years old; this time scale changes to once every three years. An audiologist can also determine whether you’ll need a hearing aid and can give helpful advice on the best hearing aid style for you.
During an audiology appointment, they will prepare hearing tests to ensure that our hearing is working as it should for our age group. However, if you haven’t been to an audiologist before, you may have some questions about what happens during a hearing examination. Here are a few things you need to know about your hearing test:
There are different types
Like with many examinations, there isn’t just one type of test, but multiple, all to assess your hearing. These tests help to determine how well your unilateral hearing (one-sided), conductive hearing (middle ear), and sensorineural hearing (inner ear) function. Here are a few of the tests done by audiologists and what they do:
The Pure Tone test is one that you might be familiar with since many schools use this test to assess students’ hearing. It’s simply a way of checking the functionality of your hearing by playing a series of frequencies until you indicate that you can hear it. If there is wax or fluids that prevent you from hearing, the Bone Conductive test may replace this test, which uses tones to check how well your hearing works. This test is played through headphones, one ear at a time.
The Weber test is a hearing test that uses a tuning fork. It is used to discover if you have unilateral conductive hearing loss or sensorineural hearing loss.
Another test that might happen is the Speech Test, which is compared with the Pure Tone test. The audiologist will see how well you can repeat words back to them. It helps show how well you can listen. As the audiologist speaks, their tone will become softer, and they will record the softest word you can hear.
They help with monitoring your hearing health
One of the most common tests done from childhood is the pure tone test, and as you grow older, this test will show how much of your hearing you’ve lost over time. This is why you need to visit your audiologist every ten years since your hearing decreases every ten years.
Do you need to prepare?
Unless your audiologist instructs you to do so, you do not need to prepare for a hearing examination. Your audiologist may ask for information such as your previous medical history. However, they can also help to answer any questions that you may have. So you can ask any questions to find out more about your appointment.
*This article is based on personal suggestions and/or experiences and is for informational purposes only. This should not be used as professional advice. Please consult a professional where applicable.