TopicSymptoms of Hearing Loss and Levels of Hearing Loss
If you suspect you have a hearing loss, it is important to immediately seek the advice of a qualified hearing healthcare professional. Hearing tests are simple, painless and widely available. Your hearing health professional will begin by conducting a thorough history, and they will ask questions about the challenges you are having, your lifestyle and your communication needs. There are different types of hearing tests that evaluate specific parts of the auditory system and specialized hearing tests just for infants and toddlers. However, most hearing tests involve a sound-treated room or booth and headphones. Your hearing care professional will also conduct a visual exam of your ear canals and eardrum using a lighted instrument called an otoscope. This will determine if something physical, such as earwax, is contributing to your hearing loss. Once in the booth, you will be asked to listen to a variety of tones and indicate the softest tones you can hear by pressing a button. This part of the exam is called pure tone audiometry, and it is valuable for determining not only how much hearing loss you have, but which frequencies are most affected. You may also be asked to listen for and repeat words. These speech tests can determine the softest speech sounds you can hear and how well you can understand speech clearly when it is loud enough for you to hear it.