Do you have an upcoming hearing test? Take a look at some of these frequently asked questions.

What is a hearing test?

A hearing test is a battery of tests carried out by audiologists to determine the nature and extent of your hearing loss. Your audiologist may ask you to listen to sounds played through headphones and to indicate when you hear a noise. You may also be asked to submit to a physical exam of your ear and other parts of your body, which could affect your ability to hear (such as your jaw and neck regions).

What happens if I have a hearing problem on just one side?

Many people have hearing loss on one side only. Although this is rarer, it is something that your audiologist will be able to detect using their specialist instruments and audiogram facilities.

If you have a hearing problem on just one side, then your audiologist may recommend that you use a single hearing aid in the affected ear. They may also provide you with specialist information about coping with one-sided hearing loss.

How do I know if I need a hearing test?

Ideally, you’ll go for regular hearing checkups with your audiologists every year or so to check on the status of your hearing. However, if you haven’t been to a hearing health professional for a long time, how do you know if you need a test.

There are several warning signs you’ll want to look out for:

  • Having to ask people to repeat themselves during normal conversation
  • Struggling to hear a person talking to you in a crowded room
  • Finding yourself turning up the volume on your TV or radio more than normal
  • Turning down social occasions because you’re worried that you won’t be able to hear things
  • Encountering dangerous situations (such as walking out into the road in front of oncoming traffic) because you didn’t hear a vehicle approaching
  • Missing calls on your telephone or not hearing the doorbell

For many people, hearing deteriorates slowly over time, so you may not detect any changes in the initial phase. It is crucial, however, that you seek help as soon as you notice a problem. Dealing with hearing loss early can help to preserve your capacity to hear and prevent adverse knock-on effects on other things in your life.

Will I get hearing aids after my hearing test?

Audiologists both test your current hearing status as well as help you select an appropriate hearing aid, should you choose.

Hearing aid selection can be a complicated process. Not only do you need a device that you can calibrate to improve your hearing, but you also want something that offers you the features you need for your lifestyle. Professional support can help tremendously.

If I need a hearing test, does that mean that I am going deaf?

No. The purpose of a hearing test is to evaluate the current state of your hearing: it says nothing about the long-term prognosis for your ears.

Audiologists recommend that people go for hearing tests as soon as they can. The sooner you can manage your hearing loss, the better. People who intervene early ensure that they maintain sound signals to their inner ear, providing necessary stimulation of the auditory cortex.

Will a hearing test help me hear people in loud rooms?

Today’s hearing tests are sophisticated. Often, your audiologist will ask you to listen to the sound of several voices to determine your ability to focus on a single source. If the test reveals that you struggle to home in on particular sounds, then the audiologist will recommend that you use hearing aids with special noise cancelling technology and directional microphones.

Will hearing aids make my hearing better?

Hearing aids will, of course, improve your ability to hear the sounds around you. But there’s also evidence that hearing aids can improve symptoms of particular types of hearing loss and help people with tinnitus.

How long does a hearing test take?

Most audiologists can complete a hearing test within 30 minutes. However, if the source of your hearing loss isn’t clear or you have complex hearing needs, then it may take longer.

What do the results of the hearing test tell me about my hearing?

At the end of your hearing test, your audiologist will present you with the results of your hearing test.

The first thing they will tell you is the severity of your hearing loss. Your hearing loss could be classified as mild, moderate, moderately severe, severe or profound, depending on the minimum volume (measured in decibels) that you can hear. You’ll also learn about the particular idiosyncracies of your hearing loss, including whether one ear is worse than the other.

If you’d like to learn more or book a hearing test, call The Hearing Clinic at Woodlake at 612-200-8414.