Hearing Testing

To determine if you could be helped by a hearing aid

Who Should Get a Hearing Test?

Hearing loss can be gradual and difficult to notice until it’s advanced. That’s why you should have your hearing screened once a year and if necessary follow up with a doctor for a complete diagnosis.

You should get a hearing test if you find yourself:

  • Straining to hear conversations
  • Asking family and friends to repeat themselves often
  • Missing lines in movies or at the theater
  • Listening to the TV at a level so loud that others complain
  • Turning the volume up all the way on your phone

Why wait? You don’t have to live with hearing loss.

Why wait? You don’t have to live with hearing loss.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss is fairly common and might explain why you can hear a pin drop, but not be able to make out what your partner is saying. You’re born with tiny hairs called cilia in your inner ear that move when sound waves are present. Nerves translate the movement of these tiny hairs into information that goes to your brain where it gets interpreted into distinct sounds and frequencies.

The better the movements are interpreted, the more easily you’re able to hear distinctions between sounds such as “D” and “T” or hear letters like “S”, “H” and “F”. Unfortunately, the cilia are extremely delicate and can be harmed by loud noise or other trauma.

Cilia also help your brain determine how loud a sound is, where it’s coming from, and how far away it is.

The Most Common Causes of Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss happens when these tiny hairs are damaged. Often, this type of hearing loss is gradual, which is why many people associate it with aging. It’s thought that animals are able to regrow these hairs and regain their hearing when their cilia get damaged, but humans don’t seem to have this ability naturally.

Common causes of sensorineural hearing loss are:

Loud sounds
Head injuries or other trauma
Diseases like diabetes or autoimmune disease
High blood pressure
Some medications
How to Deal with Sensorineural Hearing Loss
While there are no current medical treatments to heal cilia, you can successfully address sensorineural hearing loss with hearing technology such as hearing aids.

What to expect at a hearing test.

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What Will a Hearing Test Show?

Hearing tests measure your ability to hear different frequencies at different volumes. They can also measure things like pressure behind the ear to see if there is fluid behind the eardrum. When you’re finished, you’ll get an audiogram, which is a printout of your test results. If it turns out you need hearing aids, the audiogram helps us program your hearing aid to your specific hearing loss, similar to getting a prescription for eyeglasses.

What Happens During a Hearing Test?

Because hearing loss is often related to other issues, we’ll begin by reviewing recent changes to your health. We’ll also ask a number of questions about where you notice you are struggling to hear. Your answers will provide clues as to what kind of hearing loss you’re experiencing and whether hearing aids will work for you.

We’ll also take a look in your ears to make sure there isn’t any earwax or other debris blocking the canal. Depending on what this initial hearing evaluation uncovers we may opt to do additional hearing tests or refer you to a medical professional. 

Audiometric Hearing Test

Can you hear sounds, but have trouble making out what people are saying? This hearing test will determine how well you hear different tones and how well you’re able to hear words. We’ll say words that are commonly misunderstood and ask you to repeat them. The results of this test show hearing loss as a percentage and is a good indication of whether hearing aids will work for you.

How to Read Your Hearing Test Results

Your hearing test results will come to you as a chart called an audiogram. Along the left side is the volume as measured in decibels. Along the bottom are frequencies. Laying it out on a chart allows you to see clearly whether you have hearing loss at higher or lower frequencies and how bad it is. (Don’t worry, we’ll walk you through this.) If you can’t hear a sound until it’s at least 30 decibels you have some hearing loss. The louder a sound has to be before you hear it, the more severe your hearing loss is.

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