Take a moment and consider just how much hearing impairment could affect your quality of life.
Everything you just came up with is why we emphasize the importance of hearing tests. They need to be thorough and they need to be done before hearing loss has an opportunity to have a negative effect on your life.
A professional hearing assessment is the first step toward a program of treatment designed for your specific needs, one that provides a way for you to get back the hearing you’ve lost and enjoy the sound of everything you love to do most.
What happens during a hearing evaluation?
Step One: The Interview
Asking some questions helps us understand the nature and level of your hearing problem while also making sure there are no aspects to your situation that need further investigation. Here are some sample questions:
- Is there a family history of hearing problems?
- What illnesses or injuries have you had? Any that might be related to your hearing?
- What medications have you taken? Some can contribute to hearing loss.
- Are you or have you been regularly exposed to loud noises?
Step Two: The Examination
Taking a close look inside your ear with an otoscope or video otoscope, the hearing care professionals here will determine if your hearing difficulty is being caused by an obstruction or some sort of visible ear-canal or eardrum damage.
Step Three: Hearing Tests
If your hearing professional determines that testing is called for, these are the types of testing you might experience:
- Hearing Screening measures your ability to hear 4 frequencies, each at 25 decibels.
- Speech Assessment assesses your ability to hear and understand various volumes of conversation.
- Middle-Ear Evaluation tests the reaction of your eardrum and hearing to various degrees of air pressure.
If you have a hearing impairment, it will be documented on an audiogram, which is generated after a pure-tone hearing test. Essentially, it provides a map of your hearing loss, showing your reaction to changes in pitch and volume at various frequencies.
The frequencies are measured in hertz (Hz); the intensity of the sound is measured in decibels (dB). Determining whether your hearing difficulty involves high pitches or low pitches will help us give you informed advice on how to move forward.
Step Four: Treatment Options
A hearing aid is basically a microphone, an amplifier, a receiver, and a processor. Today’s technology includes those basic components in a mix of hardware, software and innovative expertise to create exceptionally effective devices. There is a lot of amazing, advanced hearing care tech in the world today, and we’ll help you explore it to find the solution that meets your individual hearing needs and lifestyle.
Surgery & Implants
Our team has been trained for the surgical insertion of devices that, when in the ear, improve hearing, assist lip-reading and make distinguishing certain sounds easier. These devices tend to be of most use to people who are deaf or profoundly hearing impaired—individuals for whom hearing aids aren’t a useful treatment option. Such implanted devices include, cochlear implants, middle-ear implants, bone-anchored hearing aids and auditory brain stem implants.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is hearing tested in newborns?
Before your child leaves the hospital, they’re given an otoacoustic emissions (OAE) test. When sleeping, an earphone and microphone are placed in the ear, sounds are played, and their response is measured. If the newborn does not have a hearing impairment, an echo is reflected back into the ear canal being measured by the microphone. When a baby does have a hearing loss, no echo can be measured on the OAE test. This test is generally administered twice. Please see our section about child hearing loss for more information on hearing impairment and preventive measures for all ages.
How long does a hearing test take?
Approximately 20 minutes.
How often should I get my hearing tested?
This depends on lifestyle as well as age. Typically, we recommend an annual hearing test, whether there are signs of hearing loss or not, particularly if you are exposed to noise consistently through work or play. If you are exhibiting signs and symptoms of hearing loss, please call today to schedule an appointment. Signs include but are not limited to:
- Feeling that people mumble
- Having to turn up the volume on television, telephone, or personal listening devices
- Trouble following conversations in busy venues (concerts, restaurants)
Products & Services
Give the Gift of Hearing
Bow River Hearing has one location in Airdrie and three in Calgary. We look forward to seeing you at the clinic that is most convenient for you to visit.