Having your hearing examined regularly is an important part of your total health. One of our core services at Suncoast Audiology is taking a comprehensive hearing test. Our hearing tests combine a hearing health consultation, a non-intrusive physical exam and a test of your hearing abilities. Your hearing test forms the foundation of addressing any problems you may be experiencing with your hearing, from hearing loss to lesser understood disorders like hyperacusis and misophonia.
What To Expect At Your Hearing Test
Listening To You
The first part of your hearing test will include a health history as well as talking about any changes that may have occurred in your hearing. We may ask you about life factors that can contribute to hearing problems, such as noise exposure. Reviewing your health history helps us look for health conditions and medication that have links to hearing loss and auditory problems. Most importantly, hearing from you about issues or problems with your hearing helps us find causes and answers.
The next part of your hearing test will involve a non-invasive physical examination of your ear. We’ll use a special small handheld medical tool called an otoscope to see clearly into your ear canal. The otoscope looks like a small funnel and it both lights and magnifies your ear canal so we can scan the details of your middle ear. Looking into your ear with an otoscope allows us to detect obstructions, signs of infection and other problems with the middle ear, ear canal and ear drum. A physical exam can find issues like impacted earwax or perforated ear drums which can help us make important decisions about treatment and hearing solutions.
For the third part of your hearing test you will be asked to respond to tones played through a set of headphones placed over your ears. The incoming tones will be at various frequencies and volumes to help us detect specific areas of your hearing that pose challenges for you. Your responses to the tonal testing are used to create a diagram called an ‘audiogram’. The audiogram maps your hearing ability in each ear individually based on how astutely you can hear sounds at various frequencies.
We’ll use your audiogram to find where current issues or potential problems with your hearing exist. If hearing aids are the best solution, we’ll make use of the audiogram to program your hearing aids specifically to your hearing needs. Even if we don’t see significant hearing loss in your audiogram, it creates a hearing health record we can use to detect future changes to your hearing.
Putting It All Together
Once we’ve completed all the parts of your hearing test, we’ll sit down with you to go over auditory issues that we have found, as well as possible causes and courses of treatment. For some conditions, we may recommend further testing, but in many cases your initial hearing test can promptly connect you with hearing solutions.
At Suncoast Audiology, we tailor your treatment plan to your needs, whether that means customized hearing protection or fitting you with the best hearing aid to help you keep up with a busy work environment. At Suncoast Audiology we specialize in helping patients with hearing sensitivity disorders and incorporate that understanding into working with your hearing concerns. Ready to take the next step in your hearing health? Give us a call at 727-977-5222 and schedule your appointment today!