At Family Hearing Centers, we understand that your hearing is a crucial aspect of your overall health. Our team of experts is here to guide you through the process of regular hearing tests, emphasising the importance of early detection and intervention.
Why Regular Hearing Tests are Crucial
Regular hearing tests are instrumental in early detection of hearing-related issues. As we age, our auditory abilities naturally deteriorate, making regular evaluations imperative.
Hearing loss often happens gradually, which means you may not notice the decline until it becomes significant. Regular hearing tests provide a baseline for your hearing levels, helping detect any changes over time.
Hearing tests also identify potential issues that may warrant medical intervention, such as excess earwax or infections. Timely treatment can maintain the overall quality of life, making these evaluations an essential part of your healthcare routine.
Who Requires Regular Hearing Tests?
While everyone can benefit from regular hearing evaluations, there are specific groups more prone to hearing loss. These include:
- Adults over 50 years: As age advances, hearing loss becomes more common.
- Individuals exposed to loud noises: This includes people working in construction sites, music venues or using heavy machinery.
- Individuals experiencing sudden changes in hearing: Any sudden change in your hearing abilities should be taken seriously.
- People having difficulty understanding speech: If you frequently struggle to understand conversations, especially in noisy environments, it's time for a hearing test.
The Hearing Evaluation Process Explained
A comprehensive hearing evaluation involves several steps, each designed to assess a different aspect of your hearing health.
Initial Consultation and Medical History Review
Before the test begins, our experts conduct an initial consultation to understand your hearing difficulties better. We review your medical history, lifestyle, occupation, and recreational activities to establish their correlation with your hearing abilities.
Otoscopy: Examining the Ear
The first step in the hearing evaluation is an otoscopy, where we use an otoscope to examine your outer ear. This ensures your ear canals are free from blockages and your eardrums are intact, both of which are essential for clear hearing.
The Hearing Tests
Air Conduction Testing
Air conduction testing is performed in a soundproof booth using headphones. This test uses a range of sounds at different pitches and volumes to determine the softest noise you can hear at various frequencies.
Bone Conduction Testing
Bone conduction testing involves placing a bone oscillator on your mastoid bone behind your ear. This sends vibrations directly through your skull to your inner ear, bypassing your outer and middle ear. Any difference between your air conduction and bone conduction thresholds could indicate a specific type of hearing loss.
Speech testing includes Speech Reception Thresholds (SRTs) and Word Recognition Testing. SRTs involve listening to two-syllable words at decreasing volumes to identify the softest level of speech you can barely understand. Word Recognition Testing then involves listening to one-syllable words at a fully audible level to determine your level of speech understanding.
Speech in Noise (SIN) Testing
Speech in Noise (SIN) testing measures your ability to understand speech in background noise, which is a crucial metric for measuring your true hearing abilities.
Interpreting Your Hearing Test Results
Your hearing test results provide in-depth information about your hearing health, indicating whether you have hearing loss in one or both ears and the degree of hearing loss. The intensity of sound is measured in units called decibels, and the severity of hearing loss is categorized based on these levels.
The Role of an Audiologist in Hearing Evaluations
Audiologists play a crucial role in conducting comprehensive hearing evaluations and interpreting the results. At Family Hearing Centers, our audiologists guide you through the process, explaining each step and ensuring your comfort. Following the evaluation, we discuss your treatment options, helping you make an informed decision on the best solution for your unique hearing loss and priorities.
When to Seek Help
If you suspect hearing loss or face difficulties in understanding speech, especially in noisy environments, it's time to schedule a hearing test. Early detection improves your options for treating hearing loss, and our hearing specialists at Family Hearing Centers are here to help.
The Solution to Better Hearing
After carefully evaluating your hearing, our specialists may recommend solutions such as hearing health strategies and hearing aids. Unfortunately, only 20 percent of people who could benefit from a hearing aid actually wear one. They risk missing out on improved hearing that can benefit their lives professionally, socially, and emotionally.
Choosing the Right Hearing Aid
If your professional has recommended a hearing aid for you, you should know that the audiologists at Family Hearing Centers have the experience and expertise to help find the right device for your needs and lifestyle.
Protecting Your Hearing
Your doctor may suggest that you wear earplugs to protect your ears when you are exposed to loud noises. This can help to prevent further hearing loss.
Hearing evaluations are a vital part of maintaining your overall health and quality of life. At Family Hearing Centers, we strive to make the process as comfortable and informative as possible. Remember, your hearing health is just as important as your physical health. Schedule regular hearing evaluations with us to keep your hearing in optimal condition.