Hearing loss affects many people across all age groups, and unfortunately, most people wait years before seeking help. If you have noticed a decline in your hearing abilities, it's important to get a hearing test done as soon as possible. This test gives your audiologist an accurate description of the severity and nature of your hearing loss. Here's what you need to know.
What Is a Hearing Test?
A hearing test, also known as an audiometry test, is a non-invasive test conducted by a licensed audiologist to determine the level of hearing ability of an individual. During a hearing test, patients wear headphones and are asked to identify sounds they hear. Sounds are played at different frequencies and volumes, testing the patient's ability to hear certain pitches and sounds.
What Causes Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss can be caused by things including:
- Exposure to loud or constant noises
- Certain medications
- Family history
Additionally, many patients are surprised to learn that their hearing loss is temporary and is caused by an excess of ear wax. The audiologist can remove this impacted wax, restoring your hearing.
Is Hearing Loss a Gradual or Sudden Process?
Surprisingly, both. Hearing loss can be gradual or sudden. Gradual hearing loss is the most common type, where individuals slowly lose their hearing over time due to cumulative damage to the ear or aging. On the other hand, sudden hearing loss can occur quite rapidly and is usually caused by an infection, injury, or medication side effect. Sudden hearing loss requires immediate attention and treatment by a hearing healthcare professional to prevent damage.
What Is a Hearing Aid Evaluation?
If it is determined during your hearing test that you need assistance to hear better, a hearing aid evaluation will be performed. A hearing aid evaluation is a thorough assessment conducted by a licensed audiologist to determine if the patient could benefit from the use of a hearing aid. During the evaluation, the audiologist will review the results of the hearing test, discuss the patient's lifestyle and personal preferences, and recommend a suitable hearing aid device for the patient's needs. The evaluation includes a trial period, allowing the patient to test out the hearing aid before making a final purchase decision.
Hearing loss is a common issue many people face, and it's important to take action to protect the hearing abilities you have left. A hearing test can offer you a better understanding of your hearing abilities, and a hearing aid evaluation will provide an accurate recommendation on the best available hearing device for you. Remember, early diagnosis and intervention are vital in managing hearing loss and ensuring you're living your life to the fullest.