The effects of hearing loss can be minimized if:
- Your problem is correctly diagnosed;
- You receive the right type of treatment; and
- You and your hearing care team are committed to solving the problem
Hearing Tests Step One: The Interview
The first step in determining the extent of your hearing problem and uncovering any specific areas that require further attention is an interview. Some typical questions you might be asked include:
- Has anyone else in your family had hearing difficulty?
- Have you had any illnesses or injuries that might have affected your hearing?
- Have you taken any medications that might have affected your hearing?
- Have you been exposed to loud noises in your job or leisure activities?
Hearing Tests Step Two: The Examination
Your audiologist will perform an examination using a special instrument called an otoscope to inspect your ears and determine whether there is an obstruction or damage to the ear canal or eardrum that may be responsible for your hearing loss.
Hearing Tests Step Three: The Testing
Testing is then administered so your hearing care professional can determine the nature of your hearing loss. The following tests may be given depending on their assessment of your needs.
- Audiometric pure tone evaluation to measure your hearing at different frequencies.
- Speech evaluation to measure how well you hear and understand ordinary conversation at different volumes.
- Immittance middle ear evaluation to measure how your ear drum and hearing react to varying degrees of air pressure.
- If you are suffering from a hearing loss, your results will be documented on an audiogram.
Hearing Tests Step Four: Treatment Options
Hearing aids come in a variety of designs, with a wide range of functions and features to address an individual’s specific needs. All contain basic components like a microphone, an amplifier, and a receiver. Digital hearing systems include a small computer. Modern digital hearing aids are extremely effective thanks to a powerful combination of professional expertise, software, and hardware.
Surgery & Implants
Hearing devices can be surgically inserted into the ear to improve hearing, facilitate lip-reading, and improve the ability to distinguish certain sounds. People who are deaf or suffer from profound hearing loss and are unable to use hearing aids benefit most from these devices. A few examples of surgical implants:
- Cochlear Implants
- Middle Ear Implants
- Bone-Anchored Hearing Systems
- Auditory Brainstem Implants
Assistive Listening Devices
Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) are devices that contain specialized technology to help people with all degrees of hearing loss. They facilitate improved face-to-face communication and enhance reception of electronic media, telephones, and important warning sounds and situations.