What should I do if I think I have a hearing loss?
If you suspect you have a hearing loss, don’t ignore it hoping for it to go away. Hearing loss is one of the most common chronic conditions among adults in the US, and since hearing loss is gradual and can sneak up on you, it’s important to get your hearing tested and stay aware of your hearing health! Audiologists use hearing tests to understand your hearing loss and give you personalized treatment options.
Everything You Need to Know About Hearing Tests
Audiologists use hearing tests to understand your hearing loss and give you personalized treatment options.
Hearing loss commonly begins with hearing impairment for tones and speech in upper frequencies, such as the voices of women and children. Does this sound familiar? Hearing loss is one of the most common chronic conditions among adults in the US, and since hearing loss is gradual and can sneak up on you, it’s important to get your hearing tested and stay aware of your hearing health!
Steps to a Hearing Assessment
There are three steps to a hearing assessment that provide accurate conclusions and ensure the best possible care.
Step 1: The Interview
Finding solutions that match your lifestyle is our top priority, so we want to understand your habits. Are you often in noisy environments, and do you enjoy going to public events? Are you outdoorsy or do you like to keep up with your TV programs?
To understand your medical background and symptoms, we will discuss past injuries or illnesses that could play a role in your hearing loss. We’ll ask about ringing in your ears, ear infections, or pain. We also want to know if there’s a history of hearing loss in your family, or if you are exposed to chronically loud noises.
We will ask about your overall health to understand any other factors that could affect hearing loss. These include diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and some medications, all of which have links to hearing loss.
Step 2: The Physical Exam
Using an otoscope, or magnifying glass, we will look closely at your eardrum and ear canal. This is a completely painless exam to see if there is any damage to the ear drum, or any blockage from earwax or discharge.
Step 3: The Hearing Tests
To understand the degree of your hearing loss, we test tones and speech at all frequencies. Results are documented on an audiogram, a graph that shows what sounds you’re hearing and what sounds you’re missing. While you wear headphones, the pure tone audiometry test play tones at different frequencies. All you have to do is indicate if you’ve heard the tone. A speech evaluation test determines how well you hear normal conversation at various volumes. Finally, tests are conducted to measure the performance of the auditory nerve and test the eardrum for responsiveness to sound vibrations.
What Next: Treatment Options
Following the hearing test, we will review the results of your hearing assessment, and discuss treatment options. Providing you with individualized care, we will recommend solutions that will work with your lifestyle.
Treatment options are varied. For many people, hearing aids are a good option. They amplify sounds, and come in many styles to suit your needs and budget. Assistive listening devices can help with quiet conversation and amplify TV, radio, and other media. For those with severe or profound hearing loss, surgery or implants may be an option.
We want to give you the best advice about your hearing health, and what kind of treatment is right for you. Why wait? Book your hearing assessment today!
Florence T. experienced wearing hearing instruments before and was looking for a solution that could accommodate her better. Also, she often experienced difficulty hearing in most listening situations in noise. Florence was then fitted with custom in the canal hearing aids, it was difficult to adjust at first but with the guidance of Hearing Center of Hawaii staff, she noticed a positive difference. “It is just wonderful! I hear so good,” she explains. “I want to wear it all the time!”
Joyce O. was struggling with her over the ear hearing instruments as she was unable to hear her friends during her outings. “I barely was able to hear.” “I mostly nodded during conversations and was embarrassed that I could not hear.” Joyce was then fitted with specially designed custom in the canal hearing aids. “I’m ecstatic and filled with so much gratitude” she eagerly explains. “I went to see a movie at the local theaters. “This was the first time I could hear well with my new hearing aids.” “I feel normal again!”