You’ve had your suspicions for some time – your hearing doesn’t seem as sharp as usual.
Fortunately, you’ve taken the correct next step and made an appointment for a hearing test. But, unfortunately, that’s also when your nerves kicked in.
Let our experts, Fox Valley Ear, Nose & Throat reassure you by explaining exactly what to expect at your first hearing assessment.
Hearing loss can be more challenging to treat if left untreated for too long, so it’s great that you are taking this important step now.
We’ve put together this blog that explains what will happen to ensure that you are relaxed and calm for your hearing test. This way, there will be no surprises, and you can relish the fact that you’re doing the best thing for your hearing health.
It Starts With a Conversation
Before we start, we need to learn more about you. Sometimes hearing loss can be a hereditary condition, so we’ll ask if other family members have a hearing loss.
We’ll also check on your current health. For example, have you had a cold recently? Do you have ongoing trouble with excess earwax? Even more seriously, have you experienced any recent head trauma or injury?
Environmental factors will also be considered. Do you work in a factory or construction? Are you regularly exposed to loud music?
Finally, we’ll discuss the challenges you’ve had with your hearing and its impact on your life. Once we have a good understanding of your background, we’ll move on to the hearing test.
Testing Your Hearing
Your hearing test aims to find out what your current hearing level is to establish a baseline report. This way, we can track any changes in the future.
The test will consist of two parts. The first test is called pure tone audiometry.
We’ll go into a soundproof room, and you’ll be given some headphones to wear. They’ll be connected to a machine (an audiometer) that measures the different pitches or frequencies you can hear.
You will listen to a range of pitches and tones, and each time you hear a beep, you will press a button. From this, we’ll find out the softest levels of sound that you can hear for each frequency.
The second test is called speech tone audiometry. As the name suggests, we’ll look at how well you can hear speech and recognize words.
First, we’ll read a list of words to you at various volume levels and ask you to repeat them. This will tell us the lowest volume in which you can hear and understand words.
For the next part of this test, we’ll check your word recognition ability. We’ll read a series of words to you and ask you to repeat them. This will tell us how easily you can understand and distinguish different words when you hear them spoken.
Occasionally, we will perform a third test called tympanometry, which tests your acoustic reflexes. A soft plug will be placed in your ear.
By creating pressure changes and generating sounds, we’ll learn how well your eardrum moves and note the reflexive responses of your middle ear muscles.
The Results Are In
Often the worst part of any test is waiting for the results. Fortunately, your hearing test results are practically immediate, so there’s no need to become anxious.
We’ll review your audiogram – a chart that shows the softest sounds you can hear at different frequencies. Each ear will have its own line, and from this, we’ll determine whether you have a hearing loss and, if you do, how mild or severe it is.
We’ll discuss your results, explain what type of hearing loss you have, and discuss the best treatment options. If hearing aids are suitable for you, we’ll review the different types and their features and recommend the ones that best match your needs, lifestyle, and budget.
You’ll also learn about the effects choosing no treatment will have on your hearing health. Ultimately, the choice will be up to you, but you will be provided with everything you need to know to make the right decision.
With offices in Algonquin, Elgin, and St. Charles, Fox Valley ENT strives to improve our patients’ lives. To begin your journey to better hearing, contact us today to arrange an appointment with one of our friendly audiologists.