Hearing tests, also known as audiometric evaluations or hearing evaluations, are clinical procedures that measure an individual's ability to hear various sounds. The sounds vary in their pitch (frequency) and loudness (intensity). The primary objective of these tests is to identify any hearing loss and, if present, determine its severity and type. Regular hearing tests are a proactive way to maintain your hearing health and detect any potential issues early. At Victory Hearing & Balance, we're committed to providing the highest standard of hearing care in a compassionate, professional environment.
Hearing Tests at Victory Hearing & Balance
At Victory Hearing & Balance, we go beyond traditional hearing testing to evaluate the entire auditory system. While most diagnostic hearing tests focus only on the peripheral hearing system (from the ear to the brain), our approach also considers the central hearing system (from the brain to the ear). Dr. Davis is one of the few audiologists who conduct comprehensive assessments of the central auditory system. We refer to this test as a functional assessment, as it examines how you hear and process sound in real-world situations.
Why Undergo a Hearing Test?
A hearing test is not solely for those experiencing symptoms of hearing loss. Regular hearing examinations are essential as part of your overall health check-up, especially as you age. With age, the likelihood of experiencing hearing loss increases. Statistics indicate that approximately one-third of adults over the age of 65 have some degree of hearing loss, commonly the sensorineural type.
Hearing tests are also crucial for individuals exposed to loud noises frequently, such as those working in noisy environments or using power tools. They can help identify early signs of noise-induced hearing loss, enabling preventive measures to be taken.
Symptoms That Indicate a Need for Hearing Test
While regular hearing tests are recommended, certain symptoms may necessitate an immediate hearing examination. These symptoms can include:
- Difficulty understanding others, especially amidst background noise.
- Often asking others to repeat themselves.
- Trouble hearing high-pitched sounds.
- The need to increase the volume of your TV or music player.
- A persistent ringing sound in your ears, known as tinnitus.
The Process of a Hearing Test
A comprehensive hearing test typically involves several steps, each designed to evaluate different aspects of your hearing. The tests are conducted by audiologists, healthcare professionals specializing in diagnosing, treating, and managing hearing loss.
An otoscopic evaluation is the initial phase of a hearing test. It involves a thorough examination of your outer ear using an otoscope, a tool that enables the audiologist to look inside your ear. This examination helps identify any blockages, such as wax build-up or foreign objects, that could affect the test results.
Pure-tone testing forms the backbone of a hearing test. It involves you listening to a series of 'beeps' at different frequencies and volumes via headphones. You indicate when you can hear the sound, allowing the audiologist to determine the softest sounds you can hear at different frequencies. The results are recorded on an audiogram.
Bone Conduction Testing
If there's a significant difference between your air conduction and bone conduction thresholds, a bone conduction test may be performed. This test bypasses the outer and middle ear, sending vibrations directly to the inner ear. It helps determine whether the hearing loss is due to issues in the outer/middle ear or the inner ear.
Speech testing is an integral part of a hearing examination. This test assesses your ability to listen to and repeat certain words at different volumes. It helps evaluate how well you understand speech, particularly in noisy environments.
Preparing for a Hearing Test
No special preparation is required for a hearing test. It's non-invasive and painless, making it a straightforward procedure. However, it's recommended to avoid exposure to loud noises for at least 16 hours before the test to prevent temporary threshold shifts that could affect the test results.
Post-Test: Understanding the Results
After the test, our audiologist will discuss the results with you in detail. They'll explain whether you have hearing loss, its type, and its severity. If hearing loss is identified, you'll be counseled on the best treatment options for your specific condition.
While hearing loss is often irreversible, several treatment and management options are available. The most common treatment is the use of hearing aids, which amplify sounds to help you hear better. At Victory Hearing and Balance, we offer various styles, each designed to meet individual needs and preferences.
In some cases, medical interventions such as surgery may be recommended, depending on the cause of the hearing loss.
The Importance of Regular Hearing Tests
Regular hearing tests are essential for maintaining good hearing health. They help identify hearing loss in its early stages, allowing for prompt treatment and management. This can significantly improve your quality of life and prevent complications such as social isolation and depression. As they say, prevention is better than cure.
Victory Hearing & Balance: Your Partner in Hearing Health
At Victory Hearing & Balance, we are committed to providing the highest quality hearing care. With our professional, compassionate, and authoritative approach, we ensure each patient receives personalized care tailored to their unique needs.
Under the leadership of Dr. Jill Davis, our team of skilled audiologists offers comprehensive hearing evaluations and a range of treatment options. We're dedicated to helping you improve your hearing health and overall quality of life.
So, if you're experiencing any difficulty with your hearing or simply wish to have a routine check-up, don't hesitate to reach out to us at Victory Hearing & Balance. We're ready to help you on your journey to better hearing.
Schedule a Consultation Today!
Contact Victory Hearing & Balance for more information about their comprehensive hearing services and advanced hearing aids.