You probably have your blood pressure and cholesterol checked regularly, and eye tests, dental checkups, and annual physicals are a healthcare priority. However, have you considered having frequent hearing tests? Most people make hearing care a low priority on their list of health concerns until it becomes a problem.
In reality, untreated hearing loss leads to the early onset of cognitive decline as well as other adverse mental and physical health conditions. To ensure that individuals throughout New England enjoy a higher level of overall health and a better quality of life, I want to help put those who hesitate to have their hearing checked at ease by explaining what you can expect during your first hearing test.
We start off with a friendly conversation because we look at your hearing care like we are entering into a partnership, so we want to get to know you better. Our conversation will cover things such as occupation, hobbies, your style of living, and even some medical and family history.
In addition to getting to know you better, we want to know about your hearing concerns and we’d like a chance to answer any questions you might have about us and our practice. This also helps us to design personalized hearing care that meets your unique needs and personal preferences.
Your audiologist will follow your initial conversation with a physical examination of your ears. This examination allows us to identify any structural issues in the middle ear or ear canal, such as a ruptured eardrum, inflammation, or an obstruction, which might include a tumor, growth, earwax, or a bug that might have gotten stuck there.
Diagnostic Auditory Evaluations
Following the physical examination of your ears, your audiologist will seat you inside a soundproof room or booth and place headphones on your ears in order to conduct various auditory evaluations. We’ll start with tru-tone testing, which involves transmitting various tones at different volumes and pitches to which you will respond, establishing the range or thresholds of your hearing ability.
For more of a real-world evaluation of your hearing, we’ll also transmit spoken words at various tones and pitches and add a number of environmental effects to simulate your capacity to distinguish words from background noise.
Another test we’ll use bypasses the hearing canal by transmitting sound directly to the inner ear. This test allows us to establish a distinction between conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. Your audiologist will also conduct a tympanometry test, which involves sealing the entrance to your ear canal with a tympanometer and transmitting a tone in order to evaluate the response of your eardrum.
Discussing Test Results
With most medical tests, you have to wait a few days for results, but we will have your results as soon as we finish your hearing assessment. Your audiologist will show you the results of your test and explain what they mean.
Because we are entering into a hearing care partnership, complete transparency is an important part of our discussion as we discuss the preventive measures you can take to avoid further damage to your hearing, the various treatment options, or additional tests that might be necessary.
AVI New England Conducts Comprehensive Hearing Assessments
Like cholesterol tests, checking your blood pressure, and annual physical exams, the purpose of a comprehensive hearing assessment is to identify the type and severity of your hearing loss in order to develop an individualized hearing care treatment plan.
Whether you have a hearing loss or not, the team at AVI New England and I look at hearing assessments as a primary means of ensuring that individuals in the Norwalk and Hamden communities enjoy better hearing and improved overall health to lead a more rewarding and independent lifestyle.
Contact us with any questions or concerns regarding hearing assessments or to schedule a hearing screening for yourself or a loved one.