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Hearing Tests for Hearing Aids

Woman Getting Hearing Evaluation

When you’re aware that you have hearing loss and you want to make sure that you get the best device to amplify your hearing and meet your daily needs, a hearing test is essential. This test makes sure that you understand the full extent and type of your hearing loss, which is crucial in choosing a hearing aid that will actually help you.

Here, we’re going to look into the process of the hearing test, as well as how it helps you and your hearing instrument specialist choose the very best hearing aid for you.

Before your hearing test

Before the hearing test begins, your hearing instrument specialist will want to know as much as they can about your health circumstances. It’s wise to provide as much of this information in advance so that you don’t forget anything when you’re going through the details.

Naturally, they will want to know as much as they can about any hearing health symptoms or problems you have been having lately. This may include certain environments you find it most difficult to hear in, comments from other people regarding your hearing, asking others to repeat themselves or having to turn the volume up to an uncomfortable level for others. However, beyond the most recent issues, it’s wise to bring up any past conditions or injuries that have affected your hearing. If you have experienced ringing in your ears in the past, a head trauma or ear infections before, this can help them when assessing your hearing ability.

The physical examination

Once the hearing instrument specialist has learned as much as they can, they will begin with a physical examination of the ear. This is a simple process using a handheld device called an otoscope. The device will be pressed to your ear with a probe that inserts slightly, through which they can get a better look at the outer ear and see some potential causes of hearing loss, such as inflammation and earwax build-ups.

The hearing tests

These are the main tests to determine what kind of hearing loss you have and which hearing aids will work best. There is a range of hearing tests that can be performed, depending on what the hearing instrument specialist deems necessary, but here are the three main tests.

  • Pure-tone test: This involves putting on headphones, often in a soundproof booth or room, as the hearing instrument specialist plays sounds through them. These sounds will range in volume and pitch, while you indicate which you can hear. This is designed to see which kinds of sound you can and can’t hear.
  • The speech test: Speech can be harder for those with hearing loss to understand. This test involves using the same kind of environment as the tone test, but you will instead be listening to speech at different volumes and sometimes with different levels of background noise. You will then try to repeat what you hear as best as you can.
  • The pressure test: For this test, the hearing instrument specialist will use a rubber-tipped probe into the ear. This probe changes the air pressure in the ear, similar to how taking off and landing in an airplane will do it. It may be somewhat uncomfortable but should cause no damage. The probe emits sounds, while the specialist measures how your hearing is affected by different air pressures.

All of these tests help your hearing instrument specialist put together an audiogram, which is a form that indicates your full range of hearing.

Going through your results

Using the audiogram, your hearing instrument specialist can see the severity of your hearing loss, as well as any particular challenges you might have with your hearing. From this, they can recommend the hearing aids suited to meet your levels of hearing loss. If you have trouble repeating speech, they may also recommend hearing aids with features like a directional microphone that may help.

Hearing aid selections

If your hearing instrument specialist recommends hearing aids, they’ll also talk with you about the best options for your hearing loss, lifestyle and budget needs. This will include a discussion of the different types of hearing aids, as well as features that may benefit you.

The results of the hearing test as provided by your hearing instrument specialist will help determine which hearing aid is best for you, but it’s only part of the process. Contact Palmetto Hearing Healthcare Center by calling our Summerville office at (843) 571-0744 or our Charleston office at (866) 571-0744.

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