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What Happens during a Hearing Exam?
Congratulations! By scheduling your free hearing evaluation, you’ve taken the first step toward better hearing health. Though the word “exam” may instill nervousness, we at Hearing Aid Associates assure you that a hearing exam is nothing to be afraid of. Hearing exams are painless and simple. Our guide takes you through the entire process.
Preparing for Your Hearing Exam
Unlike other exams we take, preparation for the hearing exam is easy! Since many factors may contribute to hearing loss, we ask that you compile information about your personal medical history, as well as your family medical history. In some cases, hearing loss may be hereditary.
Additionally, take note of the times you’ve especially struggled with hearing – different environments and settings do influence how you hear. If you have been exposed to loud noises recently, be sure to note that as well.
Certain medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, may influence your hearing. If you are receiving chemotherapy treatment, note the medication you are on. Other illnesses, such as ear infections, may influence your hearing as well.
Consultation with Audiologist
During the consultation, your audiologist will ask you about the items mentioned above. This conversation will give your audiologist a better picture of your lifestyle, daily activities, any medical conditions, and factors that may contribute to or influence your hearing. The more you are able to share with your audiologist, the better picture they will have of your hearing abilities.
Following the consultation, your audiologist will perform a physical examination of your ears. Using an otoscope, your audiologist will look inside your ear to see if there has been injury or damage to your ear canals and eardrums. They will also check to see if there is any blockage, such as impacted earwax. This physical examination is noninvasive and painless.
After the physical examination, you’ll be asked to sit in a soundproof room. Your audiologist will ask you to put on headphones. One test is the pure-tone test, which determines the faintest tones you can hear at different frequencies, low to high. Your audiologist will play tones in your ears, one at a time. When you hear a tone, you will be asked to indicate that you heard it by raising a hand or pushing a button.
Another test determines your speech recognition abilities. In this test, your audiologist will read a series of words and sentences at different volumes, and you will be asked to repeat what you’ve heard.
The auditory brainstem response test requires no work on your part. This test evaluates your brain’s ability to receive signals that are registered as sound. Electrodes will be attached to your head and ear area, and you will be asked to sit quietly while a series of sounds are played through the headphones. Your audiologist will measure your brain function.
Reviewing the Results
Now that your hearing tests are complete, your results will be collected in an audiogram, a visual representation of your hearing ability. The speech recognition portion will be recorded as a percentage. From these results, your audiologist will determine your hearing ability and whether treatment is necessary. Hearing loss is most commonly treated with the prescription of hearing aids. At Hearing Aid Associates, we will work with you to ensure the best course of action for your hearing health.