Hearing tests can offer valuable information about how well your ears are working. There are times when hearing tests are recommended as a routine examination. Or, an ENT might request a hearing test if any specific concerns affect your ears.
Rest assured, knowing that this testing experience is painless and easy. Specific techniques are used to measure your hearing and determine if there are any issues that need to be addressed.
Is a Hearing Test Necessary?
Regardless of your age, there are always times when hearing tests might be recommended. If you or a loved one feel like your hearing isn’t what it used to be, it’s a good idea to schedule a hearing test to determine if treatment is necessary.
Remember that hearing loss can impact every area of your life. Even a mild or moderate loss of hearing can disrupt your ability to work and participate in social settings. It’s important to seek treatment so that you don’t have any limitations in your life.
Also, catching hearing issues early is the best way to ensure long-term success. Some types of hearing loss might be temporary, and treatments are available to slow the progress and even reverse hearing loss. However, if it is a permanent condition, then early intervention can help you get the correct type of hearing amplification to ensure your long-term success.
Common Reasons for a Hearing Test
Certain factors increase the likelihood that someone will experience hearing issues. If you fall in any of these high-risk categories, you might need hearing tests more frequently than low-risk patients.
- Age: People over the age of 60 have a higher risk of losing their hearing. Routine hearing checks are recommended in the later years of life.
- Occupation: Are you exposed to loud noises in your work environment? If you are in a high-noise job setting, it’s a good idea to be proactive about protecting your ears and checking your hearing regularly.
- Signs: Pay attention to any signs that you might be developing hearing loss. Common signs include difficulty hearing in social settings, turning up the TV or radio too loud, or feeling like everyone is mumbling when talking to you.
- Check-In: Additionally, a hearing test might be a good idea if you’ve already been diagnosed with hearing loss. Patients using hearing aids should check in with their doctor to see if there are further changes in their hearing.
If you are wondering whether a hearing test is needed, ask an ENT or audiologist about your specific symptoms. The doctor can offer personalized recommendations for testing and potential treatments if required.
What Should I Expect at a Hearing Test?
There are several common elements included during your hearing test and consultation.
- Conversation: The doctor will start out by asking questions about your symptoms and medical history. Provide as much information as possible to give precise details about how your hearing might be affected.
- Examination: Do they look in your ears at a hearing test? Yes, part of the examination is to use an otoscope to look at your ears. The doctor is looking for any physical issues impacting your hearing, such as an eardrum injury or impacted earwax.
- Hearing Test: After the initial conversation and examination, it’s time to move forward with the actual hearing test.
When the hearing test starts, you will be in a quiet environment. Sometimes, these tests are completed in a soundproof room or small booth.
Usually, you will be wearing noise-canceling earmuffs or headphones. You’ll start to hear a series of tones coming through the headphones, including both low and high noises.
The doctor will give you specific instructions about how you should respond to these tones. For example, you might need to press a button, make a gesture, or send a signal when the sound comes through. Some tones come through that you won’t hear – and that’s ok.
Then, this data is used to create a report that shows your hearing range and ability. Do your best during the hearing test, and don’t be stressed about the results. The purpose is to determine your actual range of hearing and to determine if there is anything the doctor can do to improve your daily experience.
Other Types of Hearing Tests
In addition to the common hearing test with headphones and tones, two other tests might be recommended to get more information about your hearing. These tests might be done at the same time as the basic hearing test.
- Speech Audiometry: This test plays human speech at different pitches and volumes, and you signal if you can hear someone talking. In addition to indicating when you can hear the voice, you might also be asked to repeat the phrase back.
- Tympanometry: Another type of test that uses small bursts of air pressure. The goal is to measure your auditory reflexes and the responsiveness of the ear. This test can give insights into how well the ear responds to changes in sound.
How Long Does a Hearing Test Take?
Most hearing tests are short and simple. The whole process takes only about 30 minutes. But the testing process might be a little longer if multiple tests are being used or if there is a lot of information to discuss during the consultation.
The good news is that hearing testing can typically be completed in a single visit to our office. Then, the doctor can follow up with treatment recommendations if it is determined that you will benefit from hearing aids or other assistive devices.
How Do You Prepare Your Ears for a Hearing Test?
Preparing for a hearing test can help to optimize the overall results and experience.
- Medical History: Bring information about any medications that you are currently taking. Also, share any relevant information about your medical history.
- Bring a Friend: If you are often overwhelmed when talking to doctors, consider asking a friend or family member to accompany you to the appointment. They can pick up on specific details in the conversation to help you remember everything that is discussed.
- Clean Your Ears: You might want to clean your ears to prevent earwax from being a problem. Simply use a warm, damp washcloth and your finger to wipe around the outside of the ear.
- Don’t Be Sick: If you have a head cold, sinus infection, or other upper respiratory issues, then it can impact the results of the hearing test because of increased fluid in the ear. Consider rescheduling the appointment at a later date, so you are in good health at the time of the hearing test.
Talk to Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat for a Hearing Test
Do you need to schedule a hearing test? Then our team is here to assist. Don’t hesitate to reach out for information about available services. We are happy to book a consultation so you can talk to an ENT about your individual concerns.
These hearing tests are available for patients living in neighborhoods near Collin County and Dallas. Contact Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat when you are ready for an appointment in Frisco or Plano, TX. We have an online form you can use for an appointment request or call us at (972) 596-4005.