In life, there are many tests that you must take: pop quizzes, driving tests and college entrance exams. There are also tests that you don’t need to study for, such as eyesight exams or a hearing evaluation.
A hearing “test” or evaluation is recommended to those around the age of 50, unless of course you are experiencing symptoms of hearing loss sooner. A hearing screening includes several tests that measure how well you hear a variety of sounds. However, there are several important steps to complete before your hearing is evaluated. Let’s go through everything you need to know about hearing tests.
Step One: Lifestyle assessment
First and foremost, it is important to know about your lifestyle and your hearing priorities.
- Do you enjoy spending time outdoors?
- Do you spend time in large groups of friends and family?
- Do you like watching television, going to the theater or worship services?
- Do you work outside of the home?
Knowing these things helps to provide individualized care specifically for you.
To get this conversation started, you will need to fill out a Personalized Hearing Health Assessment. Click here to fill out the assessment. You can print off your answers and bring it with you to your hearing evaluation appointment.
Step Two: Your health and hearing history
With every physical exam, it is important to know about your overall health and medications you take. Did you know that several common conditions, such as: high blood pressure, diabetes and kidney disease can negatively impact your hearing? Below are some common questions about your hearing history:
- Is there hearing loss in your family?
- Are one or two ears affected?
- Were you subjected to chronic loud noise during your life?
- Do your ears ring?
Step Three: Hearing evaluation
As mentioned before, there are several tests involved in the hearing evaluation. Your hearing care practitioner will guide you through the steps of a thorough hearing evaluation, including:
- A visual examination of your ear using a video otoscope
- Tympanometry (ear drum test)
- Air and bone conduction testing
- Word discrimination testing
- Signal in Noise (SIN) testing
Step Four: Hearing test results
After your test, the hearing care practitioner will review your results on an audiogram. An audiogram is a visual representation of how well you are hearing.
Step Five: Hearing aid demonstration
If it is found that you have a loss, you can discuss your lifestyle and hearing goals and if hearing aids might be right for you. At Beltone, you always have the option to “try before you buy.” Many times, you may even get to “test drive” them for a few days to see if they help you in your day-to-day activities.
Step Six: Fitting your hearing aids
If you decide after your trial period that hearing aids will work for you and your lifestyle, the next important step is the fitting process. When you are fit with your new hearing aids, your thoughts and feelings guide the process, and your input shapes the outcome.
Your hearing care practitioner will program your hearing aids specifically for you. This is also the time when you will learn about the important features your new hearing aids offer. Adjusting to your new hearing aids may take minutes or a few days.