What to Expect at Your Hearing Exam

What to Expect at Your Hearing Exam

No One is Immune to Hearing Loss

Between 35-45 million Americans live with hearing loss. It is impossible to know exactly how many people for a wide range of reasons, but this estimate represents less than 14% of everyone in the U.S. aged 18 & above. These are people of all ages, all ethnicities & all walks of life. Of course there are plenty of lifestyle factors that increase your risk & of course your likelihood of losing your hearing increases with age, just according to the most basic metrics that more time alive equates to more time exposed to risks. 

This will likely sound shocking, but think about it for just a minute & it makes sense. Hearing loss is unique among disabilities because a majority of people who suffer from it do not even bother to seek treatment. In fact studies have shown again & again that only around 20% of everyone with hearing loss seeks & maintains the treatment necessary to mitigate their condition. 

Wearing a hearing aid is the essential component that almost every unique treatment course will have in common, but among people that wear hearing aids, they have waited an average of seven years to do so. That is seven years of procrastinating between the moment when it first occurred to them that they would likely benefit from a hearing aid & finally making a habit of doing so. 

How Can it Be That People Ignore Their Own Hearing Loss?

When not responded to with the gravity that it deserves, the consequences of hearing loss will extend  harm to every aspect of your life, from the very core of your emotional and psychological health to your connections with friends & families & even your career opportunities. 

So how can anyone justify not treating their hearing loss?

Hearing loss happens so incredibly gradually, day by day over a period of years, that the change is literally imperceptible.Thanks to this simple fact, the majority of people with hearing loss do not even consciously know that they suffer from it. And then when they do recognize it, it is simpler to minimize its impacts. But doing so is just a reflex psychological response, not an intentional or responsible decision. 

This is why it is vital that you make the intentional & responsible decision to keep up with your hearing exams. You most likely get an annual checkup. And you most likely make an annual visit to the optometrist & the dentist, right? So why should hearing exams be any different?

What You Will Learn at Your Hearing Exam 

Hearing loss is categorized in this way:

—0-25 dB HL (hearing loss) = normal

—26-40 dB HL = mild

—41-70 dB HL = moderate

—71-90 dB HL = severe

—More than 91 dB HL = profound

There is no better solution to containing the effects of your hearing loss than making an immediate intervention, catching it before the side effects compound. And there is no better way to do that than to get the objective data that only an exam with one of our specialists can provide. 

Make an appointment for an exam immediately if you suspect for any reason that you may be having trouble hearing, if you are over 60 years old, or if you work in an industry known to pose a risk to your hearing.  

The Exam Itself, Step-by-Step

First you will answer a questionnaire to note every red flag in your family, medical and personal histories.

The specialist will then ask detailed questions about how you are feeling, watching for symptoms that you will likely not even relate to your hearing health. 

The hearing exam will then be performed in a near-silent room specially treated to block out background noise that can warp the results. You will wear headphones connected to an audiometer. 

The first step of the exam is pure-tone audiometry, listening for tones at different pitches and volumes. This will identify the faintest volumes you can hear specific frequencies. 

Speech audiometry is next, listening to recorded speech to identify the faintest volumes you can comprehend speech. Related tests add distracting noise to gauge your real-world abilities. 

Lastly, a tympanometry will measure the reflexes of your eardrum and middle ear, and you will be tested for “hidden” hearing loss, hearing loss that happens in your brain instead of your ear.  

Your results will be displayed on an audiogram, a graph that charts your hearing. Your ears will both have their own results, which are just as likely as not to be similar to one another. 

Take Action Today 

You are now adequately prepared to make responsible decisions that will improve every aspect of your life.

Request a Callback

With so many myths and misinformation about hearing loss and hearing care, it’s often the unknowns or confusion that holds us back from making the right decisions.

That’s why we have a hearing care expert available to help.

If you have a question, or would like to speak to a professional privately about the challenges that you may be facing, then simply request a callback and we’ll call you for a friendly no-obligation conversation.