Just like having your cholesterol or blood pressure checked, an annual physical or an eye test, hearing tests are a vital element in maintaining overall wellness. However, hearing tests tend to be far down the list of health priorities. In some cases, the hesitancy comes from not knowing what to expect during a hearing test.
To put your mind at ease and encourage you to consider this vital health screening as a part of your overall health care, here is what you can expect during your first hearing test in either our Petaluma or San Rafael clinic.
A Friendly Conversation
Your hearing assessment will begin with a friendly conversation. During this conversation, you will have the opportunity to ask questions about hearing issues as well as express your concerns about hearing aids and other treatment options. Your audiologist will ask you about your medical history and any medications you take as well as your occupation, hobbies, and lifestyle.
These questions will help to identify ototoxic medications, injuries, noise exposure, and other possible causes with the potential to produce hearing loss.
A Physical Examination of Your Ears
Using an otoscope (a magnifying glass with a tapered end and a light on the tip), your audiologist will physically examine your ears. Conductive hearing loss often involves some type of obstruction along the hearing pathway between the outer and middle ear.
These obstructions are due to infection related inflammation, a tumor or growth in the ear canal, compacted earwax, or an object or a bug lodged in the ear canal. Removal of these obstructions or medications to deal with infections are sometimes the only treatment necessary.
After the physical examination of your ears, the next step includes sitting you in a soundproof booth and fitting you with a set of high-tech headphones. You will hear tones or spoken words at different frequencies and volume levels transmitted into your headphones to which you will respond as instructed. Your audiologist will add various types and levels of background noise along with the transmitted noise for a real world evaluation of your hearing as well.
Other tests might include a bone conduction test using a specialized headset designed to bypass the hearing pathway and transmit tones directly to the inner ear and auditory nerves to help distinguish between conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.
A tympanometry is another common test, which uses an instrument designed to evaluate how your eardrum and middle ear structures respond to sounds and pressure changes.
Reviewing Your Results
Following the series of diagnostic tests, you will have the opportunity to review your results immediately. Your audiologist will explain what each outcome means as well as whether a hearing instrument or treatment of some other type is necessary. We look at your hearing care as a partnership, so we value your input during this process in order to meet your needs as well as suit your lifestyle and personal preferences.
If your hearing tests normal, your audiologist will provide advice and recommendations to prevent damage and maintain better auditory health.
Park Place Hearing Provides Comprehensive Hearing Assessments
To maintain an active, rewarding, and independent lifestyle, you must place hearing care near the top of your healthcare priorities. The first step to better hearing health is a hearing assessment. Your Park Place Hearing professionals provide comprehensive hearing assessments for Sonoma and Marin County residents. Our expertise and equipment ensure our ability to diagnose your hearing loss as well as prescribe the treatment to meet your hearing needs, lifestyle, and personal preferences.
If you or someone you love wants to take a proactive approach to better hearing health, then contact us with your questions and concerns or to schedule an assessment.