If you suspect you are experiencing hearing loss, getting a hearing test can give you an accurate idea of how well you are hearing. Your results also set a baseline for future reference. At your hearing evaluation or if you suspect a hearing loss in the future, you can compare the results of new tests to your previous levels. Anyone worried about or experiencing hearing loss should come in for a checkup; if you are in a job that requires hearing protection, hunt, visit a shooting range frequently, or maybe you’re the caregiver for an elderly loved one? A hearing test can help determine if you have any significant hearing loss.
Who Needs Hearing Tests?
Anyone worried about their hearing should schedule a hearing evaluation right away. Children who are experiencing developmental delays or who have been referred by a pediatrician may also need a hearing test; elderly patients may be referred by their primary caregivers as well. Some people will need more frequent checkups; if you are in a job that requires you to be around loud equipment, are a frequent concert-goer or have certain medical conditions, you should pay special attention to your hearing care.
What to Expect at a Hearing Test
Here’s what to expect when you visit our office for yourself or a loved one. Knowing what to expect in advance allows you to prepare any questions you have and can also reduce any anxiety you may be feeling.
A Comprehensive Interview
Our focus on patient care and comfort means we spend time with you when you arrive for your test. We’ll get to know you, ask questions about your lifestyle and pinpoint any specific areas of risk you may have. We’ll also talk to you about any concerns you have and if there are any particular things you are worried about.
Hearing loss can happen to anyone at any time, but there are some risk factors to be aware of; age, your work history, entertainment choices, and even your hobbies can all increase your risk.
A Physical Exam
We’ll take a look at the physical structure of your ears to be sure nothing is impacting your ability to hear. This process gives us insight into your health and is not uncomfortable in any way. Something as simple as excessive wax could be making it more difficult for you to hear; clearing this away may be all that is needed.
A Tone Test
This test will help determine your range of hearing; it will identify the pitches you can hear, both high and low. You’ll listen and indicate when you hear something; we’ll do the rest.
A Speech Test
How well can you or your loved one hear speech in a busy environment? We’ll test your ability to understand speech and carry on a conversation in the presence of other noise. This helps determine if you are having trouble filtering out background noise; you’ll listen and talk as the background noise slowly increases.
A Bone Conduction Test
A small probe is used to check how well the tiny bones in your ear are conducting sound. The probe is small, and this test is painless; it takes just minutes to determine how well your inner ear is responding to sound.
An Eardrum Test
We’ll check to see if your eardrum is functioning correctly; ideally, it will move in response to sound.
Review Results and Make a Plan
Once all tests are complete, we review your results for signs of weakness or concern. If we determine that your hearing is normal, then you’ll need to get your hearing tested at your annual checkup, or come back in if you have another concern. If we find an area of concern, we’ll let you know what we discover and talk you through the next steps.
When you leave our office, you’ll know what to expect and have full peace of mind that either your hearing is excellent or you have a care plan in place to tackle any issues or areas of concern.
What to Do if you are Worried About Hearing Loss
If you are worried about yourself or a loved one, or your doctor has suggested a checkup, we can help. Schedule a hearing test today to discover what is going on with your hearing and what can be done to help. Whether we detect a problem or not, you’ll leave with essential insights into your health and wellness and with a clear plan on what to do next if follow-up care is needed. Our goal is to ensure your hearing is as good as it can be and that this vital sense is functioning at its best for you.
Dr. Megan Johnson is the owner and licensed audiologist at Johnson Audiology. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communication disorders from Western Carolina University, a master’s degree in audiology from the University of Tennessee, and her doctorate in audiology from the University of Florida.