Have you ever had a hearing test? Most people book annual checkups and get their eyes and teeth checked regularly, but many don’t think to have their hearing tested until they are older adults.
Why is a hearing test so important?
Hearing loss affects our relationships in so many ways, yet we often take our hearing for granted until we have serious concerns. Getting a test before you have hearing problems can help establish a baseline and track changes over time. It can also help pinpoint and stop damage before it gets worse.
Who should get a hearing test?
Everyone should get a hearing test, and it can be done at any age! Get a baseline test, then go have your hearing checked every two to three years. Once you reach 55-60 years old, it is a good idea to move to an annual test as different medical conditions can affect your hearing.
How do I book a hearing test?
Just call any of our locations and book an appointment, or request online that we contact you to arrange a hearing test.
What should I know before my hearing test?
A hearing test can be as quick as 30 minutes, or longer if we find hearing loss and do more tests. Some are free, some have a cost, but usually, your costs will range from free to $75. (Bow River Hearing does not charge for tests.)
No referral is necessary, but if you have been referred, we will ask if the referring health care provider has already cleaned your ears. If you have impacted wax, it could affect your hearing test. If needed, you can drop by one of our locations before your hearing test to purchase drops to put in your ears. This will make wax removal much easier, and ensure your hearing test is accurate.
Hearing tests have three parts:
1. Medical history review
During this time we will:
- Discuss your goals and concerns
- Discuss the effect of hearing loss on lifestyle
- Other related health concerns
- Provide education
2. Introductory exam
- Otoscopy: This is a visual inspection of your ear canal and eardrum, to ensure the health of your outer ear. We’ll look for wax and check for any infection.
- Tympanometry: This test helps us check your middle ear. We’ll check your eardrum, the bones in your ear, the flexibility of your eardrum, and ability to send signals to the eardrum. This is a simple test done with a device in your ear. You’ll feel a bit of pressure, then hear beeps during the test.
- Audiometry: This test is done in a sound booth, with headphones or ear inserts. It’s a pure tone test, to test your ability to hear different frequencies of tones at different volumes.
- If we notice hearing loss, we will also test for understanding of speech: words, the volume of words, sentences with a noisy background.
- We also test bone conduction (the bone behind your ear) to help discover where the hearing loss is happening and to see if you might be a cochlear implant candidate or surgery candidate.
3. Go through results and discuss treatment options
Your hearing test may be conducted by a hearing aid practitioner, an audiologist, or occasionally by an ENT specialist who may be in the clinic.
Hearing tests are important to your health
Just like your eyes or teeth, regular hearing tests are important to your health! Start with a test to find out why you’re having trouble hearing, and to learn more about potential causes of hearing loss that may be affecting your hearing.