Hearing loss is remarkably common in the US. Around 30 million people around the country (aged 12 or above) suffer from it in both of their ears. Needless to say, it can be a worrying development that calls for professional intervention. Getting a hearing loss test is a great first step to help you understand the extent of the problem and access appropriate support.
But what can you expect from the process? Read on to discover 5 things that happen in a hearing test.
You’ll Be Asked Questions
Your hearing test will probably start with a series of questions from the hearing specialist. They want to know a bit more about you, your medical history, and symptomology.
After all, hearing loss can be caused by a host of different factors. It might be related to genetics, environment, recent illnesses, or even physical trauma. Finding out about your circumstances will give the specialist a better understanding of what’s going on for you.
You Won’t Experience Any Pain
Hearing loss tests are non-invasive affairs that shouldn’t cause any pain or discomfort.
Instead, you’ll probably be sat in a comfortable chair in a quiet room that’s designed to keep out as much noise as possible. This removes auditory distractions and should ensure that you hear clearly throughout the proceedings.
You’ll Listen to Tones
You’ll then be put through a series of auditory tests designed to assess the extent of your hearing loss. A common starting point is one called ‘pure-tone audiometry’.
Wearing headphones, the hearing specialist will play you a series of tones. Delivered into each ear at different volumes and pitches, it’s your job to indicate what you can/can’t hear. The results reveal the presence and/or extent of hearing loss in either ear.
You’ll Listen to Speech Too
The specialist might also have you listen to speech when you get a hearing screening. Known as speech audiometry, you’ll keep the headphones on and be played snippets of speech to assess the limits of your hearing.
Live or pre-recorded speech will be played at different volumes into each of your ears. You’ll then be asked to repeat out loud what you heard. Errors, omissions, or discrepancies should reveal the presence and severity of your hearing problem.
You Might Be Distracted
Hearing is always easier in quiet environments. Unfortunately, though, life doesn’t often work like that. There’s almost always a host of auditory distractions going on. People will be talking, the wind will be howling, music will be playing, and so on.
Specialists will sometimes conduct their tests to replicate this fact. They might, for example, play the aforementioned speech with a distracting soundtrack in the background. In so doing, they’ll get a better insight into your hearing capabilities in ‘real-world’ scenarios.
What to Expect From a Hearing Loss Test
Are you worried about your hearing? Well, a hearing loss test is an essential way to diagnose potential problems and open the door to adequate support.
However, the testing process can be a mystery for people who’ve never had one before. Hopefully, this post has shed light on what to expect from it and relieved any nerves as a result.
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