If you find yourself struggling to hear the TV, or in social situations continuously asking friends and family to repeat themselves, it may be time to book yourself in for a hearing test.
Hearing is one of our primary senses, providing us with the ability to learn about our surroundings, understand language, and to communicate with others, there is no shame in getting your hearing checked and you may find if you’re suffering from a hearing loss, hearing aids will improve your quality of life greatly.
The first step to take is to locate your local hearing specialist known as an Audiologist, who will be able to provide you with an appointment to check your hearing and advise you whether or not you have a hearing loss and if so what type and level loss you have.
A hearing test can last between 20 minutes and 60 minutes, you will be asked a series of questions, ranging from the type of communication difficulties you feel you are experiencing to your medical history, lifestyle and hobbies. This is so the hearing specialist can gain some insight into any possibilities to whether there may be a cause to your hearing loss rather than it just being age-related.
Before proceeding with the hearing test the Audiologist will check your ears to make sure your ears are clear of any wax if your ear is blocked the hearing specialist would firstly refer you or book you in for an appointment to have your ears cleaned using either the water irrigation method or microsuction.
If your ears are clear the hearing specialist will perform a test called audiometry, this involves you wearing headphones to which then sounds of different tones and volumes are played, you will be asked to press a button each time you hear a sound. The sounds that you hear will gradually become quieter to find the softest sounds that you can hear. A hearing test measures how well your brain receives sounds through the ear canal and the skull to determine the type of hearing loss you have.
After the hearing test is completed the results will be displayed on a chart called an audiogram. An audiogram is a graph that will show you the softest sounds a person can hear at different pitches and frequencies. Where your results fall on the audiogram will Indicate the different degrees of hearing loss.
If the results of the audiogram show that you have a hearing loss the hearing specialist will explain what type of hearing loss you have and whether it can be treated.
For individuals who suffer from severe hearing loss, hearing aids are the gold standard treatment, hearing aids vary in style from behind the ear (BTE’s) in the ear (ITE’s), or completely in the ear (CIC).
Your Audiologist will take you through the whole process, making sure you understand fully your results and treatment available. Should your hearing loss show that it’s not enough to warrant any further treatment you may be encouraged to return every twelve months to re-test your hearing.