Hearing Tests - What to expect & Where to go
Why Would I Need a Hearing Test?
Some people may suspect that they have hearing loss. They have trouble hearing people talk to them when they’re in a crowded room, or they’ve been told they raise the volume on the TV way too high.
But not all people know that they have a problem. You may not realize that you have hearing loss, because it’s often a gradual process. That’s why it’s important to have your ears checked when your doctor says you should, even if you think you’re fine.
There are many causes of hearing loss in adults:
- Being around loud noises often at work
- Mowing the lawn or using power tools
- Shooting guns or other weapons
- Loud music, both live and recorded
- Too much ear wax
- Getting hit on the head
- Having an infection
- Taking certain drugs
- Problems with hearing that run in the family
Older adults who don’t do anything to address their hearing loss are more likely to feel left out of social events that they’d normally enjoy, because they can’t hear what’s happening. They might even stop seeing their friends or family as often because they’re embarrassed that they can’t hear well. Isolation makes people more likely to become depressed, unless they get help for their hearing loss.
What to Expect During the Test
The whole process should take about 30 minutes, and it’s painless.
Most adults who get hearing tests are asked to wear earphones and listen to short tones that are played at different volumes and pitches into one ear at a time. Whether or not you can hear each sound shows whether or not you can hear high-pitched or low-pitched sounds, quiet or loud sounds, and whether your left or right ear has hearing loss.
During some hearing tests, you may also be asked to listen to speech at different volumes, which will be played into one ear at a time. The voices will be played quietly through your earphones, and you’ll be asked to repeat what words were just said. This test may be done in a quiet or noisy room, since some people have trouble hearing voices when there’s background noise.
What the Results Mean
A hearing test isn’t a pass-fail exam. But the results can show whether you have hearing loss in one or both ears and how much hearing is gone.
The intensity of sound is measured in units called decibels. When someone whispers in your ear, that’s 30 decibels. Normal speech is 60 decibels. Shouting in your ear starts at 80 decibels.
Adults with hearing loss up to 25 decibels have normal hearing. Hearing loss breaks down this way:
- Mild hearing loss: 26 to 40 decibels
- Moderate hearing loss: 41 to 55 decibels
- Moderate-to-severe hearing loss: 56 to 70 decibels
- Severe hearing loss: 71 to 90 decibels
- Profound hearing loss: 91 to 100 decibels
You may be surprised if your hearing test results show that you have mild, moderate, or even greater hearing loss — especially if your hearing loss has crept up on you gradually. Your doctor may send you to see an ear-nose-throat doctor, perhaps to an audiologist – a doctor whose specialty is hearing.
So where to I go to have my Hearing tested?
Hearing Advocates offers FREE Hearing Evaluations at all of our locations. No insurance or payment of any kind needed to have your hearing tested.
Our locations are equipped with top of the line hearing testing suites designed for quick, definitive and accurate results.
You can then consult with your specialist about your hearing loss and where you may need some help.