Hearing loss has an undeniable impact on every aspect of your life. Regardless of the severity of your hearing loss, it’s important that you are proactive about finding a local hearing specialist in Frisco, TX, who can help with diagnosis and a personalized treatment plan.
But if you haven’t visited a hearing specialist before, it might feel overwhelming to know what to expect. Rest assured that this process is thorough and painless, giving you real results that can positively impact your lifestyle.
At Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat, we offer a variety of hearing-related solutions, including hearing tests, hearing aids, and more. If you are located in Frisco or the surrounding areas, we invite you to reach out at your convenience to schedule a consultation with our pro team.
Hearing Screenings vs. Hearing Tests
A hearing test is a healthcare provider’s method to determine if you are suffering from hearing loss. Different hearing tests identify various types of hearing loss.
Initial screenings might be used to determine if there is a loss of hearing in one or both ears. These screenings identify if you have normal hearing. If you fail the screening, then it will be recommended that you have a hearing test.
Then, more in-depth testing can be used to identify the underlying cause and severity of the hearing loss. When you visit an audiologist, they use multiple evaluations to determine your type of hearing loss and whether your condition is mild, moderate, or severe.
Who Needs a Hearing Test?
Having multiple hearing screenings or hearing tests at different points in life is common. Even newborn babies are tested for their hearing function as part of their standard checkups. Schoolchildren often go through hearing screenings regularly as a way to determine if hearing loss is interfering with their ability to learn.
Typically, adults will schedule hearing tests if they have any symptoms associated with hearing loss. If you notice you are having trouble hearing, the best thing you can do is schedule a consultation and hearing test for an accurate diagnosis.
Or, you might have a loved one recommend that you have a hearing test. Family and friends might identify the signs of hearing loss before you notice an issue.
How Often Are Hearing Tests Necessary?
The frequency of a hearing test depends on your unique situation. Most of the time, adults with healthy hearing don’t need to schedule consultations and tests regularly.
But if you have a medical condition that increases your risk of hearing loss, then it’s a good idea to maintain regular hearing tests. Another example is that patients who work in noisy work environments should get their hearing checked at least once a year.
Additionally, people in their 50s and 60s are great candidates for regular hearing tests. This age is when many patients start to notice age-related hearing loss. A formal hearing evaluation can help you identify signs of hearing loss in the earliest stages, helping you identify the ideal treatments to optimize your hearing as soon as possible.
Most Common Types of Hearing Tests
If you don’t know a lot about the industry, you might be surprised to learn that there are different types of hearing tests.
- Pure Tone Testing: This method is a common way to identify the quietest sounds that are detectable at each pitch.
- Bone Conduction Testing: Is the hearing loss happening because of ear wax or fluid blocking the ear or due to an issue with the sensory hearing cells? This test will help to determine the underlying cause.
- Otoacoustic Emissions Test (OAE): This test looks at the function of the inner ear to see how this part is affecting hearing.
- Speed Testing: This type of hearing test helps identify whether hearing loss affects a person’s ability to understand speech when others are talking. The test involves listening to different words and repeating what you are hearing.
- Tympanometry: When this test is used, it offers a way to see how well the eardrum is moving. For example, a hearing specialist might recommend this test if they suspect that the eardrum is damaged or ruptured from wax or fluid in the middle ear or ear canal.
- Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR): Hearing loss could happen because of unresponsive pathways or connections between the inner ear and the brain. Audiologists often use this test as a way to check hearing when a person can’t complete pure-tone testing (such as children). Additionally, it’s a helpful test to know how people with brain injuries are affected.
Hearing Aids 101
After the hearing test, it might be determined that you will benefit from using hearing aids. These small electronic devices are beneficial for sound amplification, helping you optimize your lifestyle because you can hear things clearly.
There are many different types of hearing aids, and your hearing specialist will help you determine the ideal model and style to match your unique needs. Regardless of the type of hearing aid you are using, basic components are used to achieve the results you need.
- Microphone for picking up the sound
- Batter to power the hearing aid
- Amplifier to make the sounds louder
- Receiver that acts as a small loudspeaker
- Sound processor
These components work together to help you hear sounds you would otherwise have missed without assistive technology. Your audiologist can adjust the levels and settings based on your hearing capabilities, with pitches that can be amplified and volume changes as needed.
Styles of Hearing Aids
When you are fitted for hearing aids, your audiologist will discuss different styles of hearing aids that might be a good fit for your needs.
- Behind the Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): This style fits behind the ear, with a connected earpiece that delivers the sounds into your ear canal.
- In the Ear Hearing Aids (ITE): This design uses a custom shell case that fits the outer ear and ear canal curves. A hard plastic material holds all the hearing aid components inside.
- Bone Conducting Hearing Devices: Sometimes, a patient will benefit from devices that conduct sounds through a wearable headband that delivers vibrations to the skull bone. This style is most common for patients without normal inner ear function, born without ear canals, or anyone who can’t use traditional hearing devices.
Talk to a Hearing Specialist in Frisco, TX
For a hearing test or hearing aid services in Collin County or Dallas, call us at Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat for more information. We offer full-service solutions in our nearby Frisco and Plano, TX offices. Complete our online form when you are ready to book an appointment or call: (972) 596-4005.