Every now and then your doctor may request you to take a hearing test. Don’t rush to assume that there is something wrong with your hearing capabilities. Taking a Hearing test is one of the classical ways can make sure your ears are working properly. In most cases, people do not realize they have a hearing problem until it starts to affect one’s daily life.
In most cases, hearing loss is associated with aging but it can also be caused by diseases, trauma, hereditary, and the use of certain medication. According to basic hearing statistics, 14% of people aged between 45-64 years are likely to have some hearing loss. The percentage rises to more than 30% among people aged 65 years and above. Audiologists and hearing experts recommend that you get your hearing tested every 10 years for the first 50 years and after every three after that.
Why You Need A Hearing Test
Hearing loss is a gradual process and, in most cases, you will never see it coming. You will not realize that you have a hearing problem until you have trouble communicating in crowded and noisy rooms or you have your television or radio volume so high. Due to the nature of this condition, it is advisable to have your ears checked even if you think you are fine. Some of the come causes of hearing loss include;
- Prolong exposure to loud noises especially at your workplace
- Too much wax
- Infections such as otitis media
- Drugs such as kanamycin and platinum-containing drugs used in chemotherapy
- Head trauma
If you are having trouble hearing you are more likely to feel left out especially in social interactions that involve communication. You are more likely to limit your interactions with family, friends, and workmates because you are feeling embarrassed since they cannot hear well. With a hearing loss, you are more likely to feel or be isolated which can trigger depression affective disorders.
What to expect in a hearing test procedure?
Before conducting the hearing test, you will be asked to give some details such as age, gender, and sound setting.
- A complete and comprehensive hearing test takes between 5 to 30 minutes and the procedure is painless.
- Its recommended that the test is done in a soundproof room since you may have trouble hearing when there is some background noise.
- The test is divided into two parts
- The first part of the test is aimed at determining your hearing abilities at a different frequency
- The procedure also determines your hearing abilities of different tones at different pitches
- You will be requested to adjust the volume until the sound is clear
- in the second part of the procedure, you will be asked several questions on your hearing abilities in challenging and noisy listening environments.
- After you finish the test you will be requested to give your email address
- The results will be sent to you via email. The email also contains guidance on what to do in case the test detected so signs of hearing loss.
How the Hearing Test is Done
- You will be requested to wear earphones or headphones in one of your ears and listen to some short tunes which are played at different volumes, tones, and pitches. The procedure is repeated onto the other ear.
- The degree to which you hear the different tunes at different volumes, pitches, and tones determines the hearing abilities of each individual ear.
- You may be asked to listen to a speech at different volumes and pitches. The speech is played through your earphones and you will be requested to repeat what you have heard.
What the Hearing Results Mean
First and foremost a hearing test is not a pass or fail the test. The results are more qualitative than quantitative. The results normally show whether you have a hearing loss in one or both ears and how much of your hearing abilities are gone. The IS unit of sound intensity in decibels.
Normal speech is about 60 decibels, a whisper delivers 30 decibels to your ear while shouting and yelling gives about 80 decibels. With a hearing loss of about 25 decibels, you will still have normal hearing abilities. Outlined below is a general classification of hearing loss;
|Hearing Loss Severity||Measurement in Decibel|
|Moderate to Severe||56-70|
The hearing test is no substitute for visiting a hearing aid professional or audiologist. The test does not constitute a medical diagnosis it only gauges how well you can hear. Depending on the results you will be advised whether you need to visit a hearing professional who can now conduct a comprehensive hearing examination.
How to Get Accurate Results from a Hearing Test
- Ensure you are conducting the test in a quiet room. If possible, it is recommended that you take the test in a soundproof room
- Use headphones that test your right and left ear individually. Device speakers are unable to test individual ears
- Make sure your headphone volume is on and set within a comfortable range. It is recommended that you set your device volume to 50%
Having a hearing test should be one of your tests in your routine medical checkup. Most platforms are offering such services and one such platform is Phonak. Phonak Online Hearing Test gauges how well you can hear from the comfort of your house. Phonak has a team of professionals who are able to analyze your results, perform diagnosis assessments and gauge your candidacy for a hearing aid.