If you have difficulty hearing, the time has probably come for a professional hearing evaluation by an audiologist. A hearing evaluation consists of an in-depth assessment of your hearing to determine the cause of hearing loss and to find the best treatment options. The assessment is comprehensive, and you will leave with valuable information. A typical professional hearing evaluation consists of an assessment of your lifestyle, a physical assessment of your ears, a taking of a health history, a variety of hearing tests, and a review of your results using an audiogram.
Assessing Your Lifestyle
An understanding of your lifestyle is an important part of a hearing evaluation. A hearing health assessment enables providers to gain a better understanding of your hearing needs. It gives an audiologist information on your work habits, social life, and an idea of the activities you enjoy. The assessment gives an audiologist an idea of the factors that may have caused your hearing problems.
Checking Your Health History
A professional hearing evaluation will include the taking of a health history and questions regarding your hearing loss. Expect questions such as:
- Is there a history of hearing impairment within your family?
- Are both ears affected or just one?
- Do your ears ring?
- Do you experience dizziness or vertigo?
- Any ear infections when you were a child?
- Any ear pain?
- Where you ever exposed to loud noise during your life?
Evaluating Your Hearing
The consultation will continue with physical inspection and testing. An otoscopic examination, to visually inspect your ear canals will be conducted. This exam consists of an examiner gently placing the scope inside your ear to visualize the ear and the eardrum. The hearing test, performed in a soundproof room, will require you to signal when you hear sounds through the headphones you are wearing. Your hearing evaluation may also include air and bone conduction testing and word discrimination testing. The testing may also include a tympanogram.
Getting Your Test Results
At the conclusion of your hearing evaluation, the audiologist will review your test results with you using a visual representation known as an audiogram. This graph will show you how well you heard different tones during the evaluation. You will see where you hear well and where you are missing certain sounds. After discussing the results of the audiogram, the audiologist will recommend lifestyle changes or hearing aids if needed. The practitioner will likely give a hearing aid demonstration and discussion if the situation warrants.
See an Audiologist Today
Most insurance companies will cover a complete hearing evaluation if referred by your physician. If you are not quite sure if you have a hearing loss or do not feel a complete hearing evaluation is needed, a hearing screening is an option. The screening is a quick test to determine if you hear certain tones and if amplification may be of benefit to you. Taking care of your hearing is of great importance. If you suspect a hearing loss, it will benefit you greatly to have a professional hearing evaluation with a qualified audiologist today.