What to Expect at a Hearing Exam
Did you know that only 16% of physicians regularly screen for hearing loss? You may not realize that damage has been done to your hearing until it’s too late. Hearing specialists recommend annual hearing exams to ensure optimum hearing health. The initial step to improving hearing is with a comprehensive hearing exam. Hearing exams are fast, pain-free and non-invasive. Our guide will take you through the steps of a hearing exam so that you are familiar with each step of the process.
Initial consultation with Audiologist
Firstly, we will conduct a case history. You will be asked about your family and personal medical history. This is to determine the causes of any hearing loss and the part of the ear that is likely to be damaged.
Our audiologist will then ask you about different situations in your life where you have struggled with your hearing. We will use this to build an overall picture of any potential issues.
We will then proceed with an otoscopic exam. This non-invasive procedure uses a device with a beam of light that we use to see into your ear canal and eardrum.
We’re looking for evidence of any wax build up in your canal, and ruptures or swelling of your eardrum. We will gently pull you ear in a few directions to better observe any potential problems.
The exam is designed to look for anything that might be the cause of earache, ear infections or hearing loss.
The next thing we do is assess your hearing ability. The first test is called a pure tone assessment. You will be placed in a sound-treated booth with headphones and made to listen to a series of tones at high, middle and low frequencies. You then give a signal when you are able to hear the tone. We will lower the volume of the tones until you are unable to hear them. Results are then gathered for your hearing ability at different frequencies and plotted onto a graph called an audiogram.
After that we conduct a speech recognition test. You will listen to excerpts of speech and be asked to repeat them. Excerpts will be delivered at descending volumes until you are unable to identify the sentences. This is called your speech recognition threshold (SRT)
You will now look at and analyze your audiogram from your hearing test. The frequency sounds are measured in hertz (Hz) and the volume at which you can hear them is measure in decibels (dB). You’ll get a picture of your each ear is performing on each frequency level. The speech recognition portion is recorded in a percentage.
Discuss treatment options
Following the results we can begin considering different hearing aid options available to you. We’ll enquire about your lifestyle and help you choose the best device to suit your needs.
People with hearing loss wait on average seven year before seeking help. But as with many medical problems, treating the issue as soon as possible will support better health. Don’t wait seven years before seeking help. Schedule an appointment with us at Hear Care Rhode Island today!