There are more than 48 million people in the United States with some kind of hearing loss, so taking care of your ears is essential. Getting your hearing checked is a preventative measure you can take.
This test is useful for gauging your overall hearing health and detecting any signs of hearing loss. The audiogram, a graphical representation of your hearing thresholds at various frequencies, may provide valuable insight into the nature, severity, and possibly the cause of your hearing loss.
A hearing test may be performed on anybody, of any age if your doctor thinks it’s essential.
Preparing for Your Hearing Test
Preparation is the key to achieving reliable outcomes. Get ready for your hearing exam by reading this:
Clean Ears for Optimal Accuracy
Accurate results can only be achieved with clean ears. Audiologist Dayna Edwin recommends keeping your ears clean and dry or getting expert wax removal using micro-suction if necessary. The results of the test may be impacted by the presence of excessive earwax.
Minimize Exposure to Loud Noises
If you often listen to loud music or work in a noisy setting, it’s best to rest your ears for at least 24 hours before your hearing test. This safety step is used to reduce the risk of temporary hearing loss during the testing process.
Familiarize Yourself with Your Hearing History
It is helpful for the examiner to have a thorough awareness of your hearing history. Make a list of questions you may have for the doctor and think about any experiences you’ve had in the past with hearing loss or similar issues.
What to Expect During the Hearing Test
The specifics of the hearing test are tailored to the person getting their ears checked. The gist is as follows:
Testing Newborns and Infants
Sedation and the affixing of electrodes to the scalp are standard procedures for newborn and infant hearing tests. This non-invasive method is useful for evaluating a person’s hearing capabilities by audiologists.
Testing Children and Adults
A child’s hearing may be tested while keeping their interest using an interactive listening game. In contrast, adults are expected to comply with test procedures by pressing a button whenever they hear an auditory cue. Although the methodologies may be different, an accurate evaluation of hearing thresholds is the goal of both.
Understanding Normal Hearing Levels
Hearing standards for children and adults are not the same. Hearing at softer levels is crucial for children’s language development since normal hearing for children involves thresholds below 15 dB. In contrast, the standard for normal hearing in adults is 20 decibels.
Interpreting Test Results
Each person will have a unique understanding of their test findings. Instant findings are available for both children and adults and may be broken down into categories such as “normal,” “mild,” “moderate,” or “severe” hearing loss.
Clinical pediatric audiologists or a team of specialists may need to look further into the findings for infants.
Navigating Audiogram Results
Knowing how to read an audiogram is a crucial step in gaining insight into your hearing capabilities. Here are some essential parts to focus on:
The X and Y Axes
The X-axis shows the range of frequencies used to determine pitch, while the Y-axis shows the relative loudness of each frequency.
Interpreting the Symbols
Your ability to hear different frequencies is represented on the audiogram by letters and symbols like X (left ear) and O (right ear).
Determining the Level of Hearing Loss
If you have hearing loss, your audiogram will indicate whether it is mild, moderate, or severe.
Next Steps Based on Audiogram Results
Your age and test results will determine whether or not you need follow-up treatment. Take into account the following suggestions:
Recommended Frequency of Testing for Adults
Adults over the age of 50 who have no history of hearing loss should have their hearing checked at least once every three to four years. People who have hearing loss or who use hearing aids should have their hearing tested more often than the average person, usually once every two years.
Testing for Children
A hearing test should be given to a kid before they start elementary school (about age four or five) and again before they start middle school (around age 11), even if they show no evidence of hearing loss.
Regular Testing for Children with Hearing Loss
Children with a known hearing impairment should have their hearing checked every three to six months to identify any worsening in their hearing, which is more common in children with congenital hearing loss.
Tailored Solutions and Support
In order to find the most effective treatment options, audiologists use audiograms. Hearing aids, assistive technology, and lipreading courses may help those with modest hearing loss, while cochlear implants and sign language courses can help those with severe hearing loss.
Appropriate hearing and communication tactics also take into account the individual’s lifestyle and social requirements.
You may learn more about your hearing ability and take preventative precautions against hearing loss by getting a hearing test. Don’t forget to get everything ready, learn about the procedure, and actively interact with your audiogram data.
Maintaining your auditory health and improving your quality of life may be achieved by routine hearing examinations and, if required, suitable therapies.