It is not uncommon for people to be wary of seeing health professionals. Trips to the doctor’s office or to the dentist can inspire anxiety, dread, and fear—oftentimes because we are afraid of potentially bad news or because we are concerned a health professional will deride us for keeping bad habits such as not flossing or not keeping up with prescription medications. But while we may eventually be convinced to visit our general practitioners or our dentists, we less frequently feel compelled to visit health professionals such as hearing specialists.
It is very important to be vigilant about tracking our hearing capabilities and addressing potential hearing issues, however, because hearing health does not only affect our abilities to simply hear. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to a whole host of other ailments, ranging from accidents and falls to potentially devastating conditions such as dementia. Avoiding hearing tests can turn treatable hearing loss into larger, more complex problems.
Understanding Untreated Hearing Loss
Untreated hearing loss can look like many things. People with untreated hearing loss may become gradually more withdrawn from their world. It may be difficult for them to track and participate in conversations, and they may appear checked out or unwilling to participate in group events or even attend busy, crowded spaces where there is a lot of competing noises that make it difficult to comprehend speech. Untreated hearing loss typically makes people less aware of their surroundings and can subsequently leads to trips, falls, and other accidents. Because of these risks of untreated hearing loss, encouraging yourself or a loved one to get a hearing test is a great step in establishing long-lasting health.
What Happens in a Hearing Test?
Some people do not pursue hearing tests because they are unaware of what even happens during one. It is important to know that hearing tests are safe, painless, and the entire visit can often last less than one hour.
When you visit us for a hearing test, you should be prepared to answer a few questions before the test itself begins. Taking a few moments before your appointment to consider these answers will ensure a smooth visit. Some questions your hearing health professional may ask will address how long you have been having trouble hearing, what kinds of spaces you live and work in, what kinds of noises are prevalent in the spaces you move through, times you find it difficult to hear, and whether you have a history of ear infections or other medical issues that might affect your hearing.
Following this introductory conversation, you will move into the hearing test portion of your visit. The goal of a hearing test is to study your response different kinds of sounds, and so they are testing for your ability to sense volume, frequency, and pitch. Because of the sensitive nature of the testing machinery, hearing tests often take place in relatively soundproof rooms. When the test is to begin, you will put on soft headphones that are connected to a device called an audiometer that transmits recorded sounds with different frequencies and intensities. These sounds can range from quick and loud beeps to low and bass-driven waves that extend for several seconds. You will then push a button or raise your hand whenever you hear a sound—no matter how faintly or crisply you may hear it. This of course signals to your hearing care professional that you have indeed heard something.
Hearing tests are of course tests, which can make people nervous. You are not going to “fail” or “pass” a hearing test, however. The goal of the hearing test is to assess the broad range of your hearing capabilities so that you can find the best method of hearing to your best capabilities. For this reason, it is very important to not lie during your hearing test! The better sense our team has of your capabilities the better we will be able to work with you to chart a path forward.
Schedule an Appointment with Exceptional Hearing Care
No matter your hearing capabilities there are safe and effective ways to help you feel better connected to your hearing, your body, your surroundings, your friends and loved ones, and the activities you love to do most. Schedule your hearing test appointment with us at Exceptional Hearing Care today!