At South County Hearing Services, the goal of your comprehensive hearing evaluation is to evaluate the health of your ears and hearing system. We make every effort to listen to all of your concerns and address difficulties you are experiencing.
There are many forms of hearing tests, some are very general while others target a specific aspect of hearing performance. An audiologist has received extensive training in the evaluation and treatment of hearing disorders, which makes them the best and most trusted source for a hearing evaluation.
Why Would I Need a Hearing Test?
You may need a hearing test for any of the following reasons:
Identify potential hearing loss
Hearing tests help identify hearing difficulties and determine the type and extent of hearing loss. Hearing difficulties may be related to a medically treatable condition, noise exposure, genetics, and other health conditions. Should your evaluation reveal a condition that needs medical treatment or further evaluation a referral to the appropriate physician will be made.
Assess the effectiveness of hearing aids or other instruments
Hearing tests can help assess the effectiveness of hearing aids and determine if there are any adjustments that need to be made.
Monitor changes in hearing
There are many things that can impact the health of your ears, for example, noise exposure, uncontrolled diabetes, and uncontrolled high blood pressure. Regular hearing evaluations help monitor the health of your ears. At each evaluation, the results are compared for changes. If change is progressing faster than expected a referral for appropriate follow-up is made.
We highly recommend getting a hearing test from audiologists because they are trained professionals who specialize in assessing and managing hearing issues. At South County Hearing Services, we use the latest equipment and technology for conducting hearing tests to give you the most accurate results possible. We offer comprehensive hearing diagnostic services and tinnitus evaluations at our clinic.
What are the types of hearing tests?
There are many hearing tests available. Below are the most commonly used hearing assessments used by audiologists and hearing care professionals:
- Pure-tone audiometry: This is the most basic type of hearing test. It measures your ability to hear different frequencies of sound in a quiet environment. The test is performed using headphones and a machine that plays sounds at different volumes and frequencies.
- Speech audiometry: In the most basic sense, speech audiometry measures an individual’s ability to understand speech. This test usually involves repeating words or sentences that are spoken at different volumes and in various conditions (e.g. background noise).
- Otoacoustic emissions (OAE) test: OAEs measure the sounds produced by the inner ear in response to a sound stimulus. This test is non-invasive and can help identify problems with the hair cells in the inner ear.
- Impedance audiometry: Impedance audiometry evaluates the movement of the eardrum in response to different sounds. It helps to determine if there are any problems with the middle ear, such as possible blockage or fluid build-up.
Three main types of hearing loss
Through a hearing test, an audiologist can pinpoint the type and extent of hearing loss.
There are three main types of hearing loss:
- Sensorineural hearing loss: Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear (cochlea) or the nerve pathways that transmit sound from the inner ear to the brain. This type of hearing loss is often irreversible and can make it difficult to understand speech in noisy environments, hear soft sounds, and distinguish between similar-sounding words.
- Conductive hearing loss: Conductive hearing loss signifies a problem with the outer or middle ear that prevents sound from being transmitted to the inner ear. This type of hearing loss is often temporary and can be caused by problems such as fluid in the middle ear, earwax build-up, or a punctured eardrum.
- Mixed hearing loss: Mixed hearing loss is a combination of both sensory and conductive hearing loss. This type of hearing loss can make it difficult to hear both soft and loud sounds and can have a significant impact on an individual’s ability to communicate effectively.
It’s vital to seek professional help if you suspect you have hearing loss. An audiologist can perform a hearing test and provide a diagnosis, and if necessary, recommend appropriate treatment options to help manage and address your hearing loss.
Hearing Test: What To Expect
During a hearing test, an audiologist will assess your hearing ability to determine if you have any hearing difficulties and the extent of any hearing loss you may have. Prior to the hearing test, your medical and hearing history will be reviewed. Try to be specific about your answers so it will be easier for the audiologist to understand any hearing difficulties you are experiencing.
A physical examination of your ears will also be conducted to check if there are any physical issues that might be affecting your hearing such as fluid build-up, impacted earwax, or a perforated eardrum.
After the hearing test, an audiologist will review the results with you to help you better understand your hearing strengths and weaknesses. Based on the hearing test results, an audiologist will determine the best course of action for managing any hearing difficulties and provide clear recommendations.
Hearing Test Results
Based on the results of the hearing test, the audiologist will determine if any further evaluation or treatment is necessary. If hearing loss is identified, hearing aids, cochlear implants, or other assistive devices may be recommended. Should your evaluation demonstrate a condition that needs medical treatment, a follow-up with the appropriate medical provider will be made.
The results of a hearing test can provide valuable information about an individual’s hearing ability and help accurately determine the best course of action for managing any hearing difficulties.
Can I test my own hearing?
Yes, you can test your own hearing at home with self-administered hearing tests, such as online hearing tests or smartphone apps. However, these tests should not be used as a substitute for a comprehensive hearing evaluation performed by a licensed audiologist. Home hearing tests are not as accurate as tests performed by a professional and will not provide the same level of detail as a comprehensive hearing evaluation.
Hearing Tests in Narragansett, RI
Hearing tests can help detect hearing loss early, allowing for prompt treatment and management. Early detection and effective management of hearing loss can significantly improve an individual’s quality of life. When managed properly, individuals with hearing loss can communicate more effectively, perform daily tasks more easily, and enjoy social activities.
South County Hearing Services provides comprehensive hearing tests and evaluation services for adults in Narragansett, RI.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment!