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What to Expect at a Hearing Exam
Congratulations! If you are preparing for your hearing exam, you have taken the first step toward better hearing health – and better overall health as well.
On average, it takes a person seven years from the time they first experience changes in their hearing until they decide to seek a consultation and take a hearing exam.
A hearing consultation and exam at the Hearing Center of Hawaii is simple and painless, and your audiologist, Dr. Howard Tamashiro, will guide you through every step of the process.
In preparation for your hearing evaluation, we ask that you compile information about your personal medical history, as well as your family medical history.
Before we begin the hearing evaluation, we will meet with you to discuss the times in which you experience difficulty hearing. We’ll also ask about your lifestyle, employment, and activities to gather a better picture of your hearing needs. This will come in handy later if a hearing loss is found and the prescription of hearing aids is necessary.
Following this case history, Dr. Tamashiro will perform a physical examination of your ears. This requires the use of an otoscope, a medical instrument that allows us to inspect your ear canal and your eardrums. We are looking to see the health of your ears, and whether there is any blockage in your ear canals or damage to your eardrums.
This physical examination is painless and will only take a few minutes.
Diagnostic Audiological Evaluations
After the physical examination, we will conduct a diagnostic hearing evaluation, which consists of two hearing exams: pure tone and speech recognition.
Pure Tone Exam
During the pure tone exam, you will be asked to sit in a sound proof booth and wear earphones. We will play a series of tones at different volumes and frequencies. This exam allows us to assess the softest level you are able to hear the tones.
Speech Recognition Exam
In the speech recognition exam, we will speak a series of words at different volumes. Hearing loss often interferes with our ability to identify and predict speech patterns. You will be asked to repeat the words or phrases that are being read aloud to you.
Evaluating Your Results
Dr. Tamashiro will review your hearing examination results with you to determine next steps. The results of your hearing examination are recorded on an audiogram – a visual representation of your hearing abilities by ear. The speech recognition results will be recorded as a percentage.
By having your hearing evaluated by an audiologist, Dr. Tamashiro will be able to identify if there are related medical conditions.
Next Steps to Better Hearing
If you are experiencing hearing loss, Dr. Tamashiro will discuss options with you for next steps. Hearing loss is most commonly treated with hearing aids. There are many advanced and sophisticated technology options available to treat the many different configurations of hearing loss. We will also take into consideration your aesthetic preferences for hearing aids – whether it is worn in-the-ear or behind-the-ear. At Hearing Center of Hawaii, we specialize in advanced, digital, virtually invisible hearing aids as well.
Based on your lifestyle needs, we will work with you to determine the best hearing aid options to treat your hearing loss.
If you have any questions or concerns in preparation for your hearing exam, please feel free to give us a call!
You don’t have to live with untreated hearing loss. Contact us at Hearing Center of Hawaii today for a consultation.