For too long, you’ve had trouble hearing people or had an annoying ringing sound in your ears or felt the world spin and sway around you every time you changed position. Now, you’ve found yourself sitting at the audiologist’s office. Here are a few things you can expect during a hearing test in Redding.
Describing Your Lifestyle
You’ll be asked about your regular activities. The audiologist will try to determine if you have been (or still are) subjected to loud noise or if you are frequently in situations that could affect your ears. For instance, did you know that surfers and other outdoor sports lovers are susceptible to hearing loss? Or that teenagers who go to loud concerts or listen to music on their iPods at high decibels are experiencing hearing loss at higher rates? It’s not just the elderly that have trouble hearing–it can affect people of all ages.
Providing Your Health History
The audiologist will ask you for your medical history. Do you have diabetes or high blood pressure or kidney disease? Is there a history of hearing loss in your family? Did you have any ear infections in the past? Do you sometimes have ear pain? Do you take any medications or over-the-counter drugs? Unfortunately, some medical conditions and medications can negatively affect your hearing.
Going Through Your Hearing Evaluation
After the audiologist has an understanding of your lifestyle and health history, they’ll conduct your hearing test. This process may consist of a variety of tests. The hearing specialist will likely start by doing a visual exam of your ears with an otoscope. This helps them determine if you have any blockages, such as ear wax buildup or abnormal bone growth (called exostosis) or infection. It can also determine if there’s a hole in your eardrum.
Next, you will be put in a soundproof room or booth and wear headphones, which are attached to an audiometer. Each of your ears is tested separately, since you can have different levels of hearing in your ears. The audiologist plays sounds or speech over the headphones and asks you to signal when you are able to hear the tones. Your responses will be recorded into an audiogram and at the end of the hearing test, the audiologist will explain the results to you. The specialist may also opt to do tests of the middle ear, auditory brainstem response, or otoacoustic emissions, depending on your situation.
In past centuries, people just had to “grin and bear” hearing loss, but now, you’ve got a few more options. Don’t let another day of muffled words, ringing ears, or dizziness keep you from living a full life. Schedule a hearing test with your Redding audiologist today!