“They just aren’t speaking loud enough.”
“I could have sworn that’s what she said.”
“This restaurant is way too loud, no one can have a conversation!”
Do you ever find yourself saying things like this? Has it been suggested to you that you should have a hearing test? Hearing loss can be sudden, but more often it happens gradually making it hard to tell whether you need to have your hearing checked. In fact, it’s estimated that 44 million people have significant hearing loss in the United States and only a fraction of them seek help. This is especially surprising as hearing tests are simple, painless and can tell you almost immediately whether hearing aids or other treatments would help.
Do I Need a Hearing Test?
- Do you have arguments over whether you misheard someone?
- Do you have to constantly ask people to repeat themselves?
- Do other people complain you have the TV or radio too loud?
- Has someone suggested you go for a hearing test?
- Are you straining to hear others at parties, in meetings, or other groups?
- Do you have trouble hearing on the phone?
- Do you have trouble hearing conversations in noisy environments?
If you answered yes to several of the questions above, you should probably have your ears tested and go for a full hearing evaluation.
How Often Should I Get a Hearing Test?
Adults should have their hearing evaluated every one to three years depending on what their hearing tests reveal. The more significant your hearing loss, the more frequently you should be tested.
How Hearing Tests Work
Hearing tests fall into several categories. There are pure-tone hearing tests that will check whether you’re able to hear frequencies at different pitches. Speech tests ask patients to repeat words they hear through a headset. Then there are tests that measure air pressure in your middle ear, your brain frequencies when processing sounds or emissions that your middle ear makes when exposed to sounds.
At Audiology & Hearing Care of SWFL, we will likely evaluate your hearing using various tests, including:
This hearing test checks how well you can hear when having a conversation using high-frequency words that are commonly confused. You’ll repeat several words that you hear through earphones to make sure you’re able to discern sound combinations in speech. Audiometric tests measure hearing loss as a percent as well as a percent of words you heard accurately.
This hearing test checks the middle ear using different tones and air pressure. It also helps evaluate how well the eardrum moves and the health of the conduction bones. If the eardrum and bones move less than normal, you may have a problem with your middle ear.
Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs)
Otoacoustic emissions testing checks how well your inner ear is functioning. The cilia (or small hairs inside your ear) vibrate when exposed to noise, and OAEs are the sounds these vibrations make. People with hearing loss of more than 25 decibels will not produce OAEs.