The Importance of Hearing Tests

A hearing test is a vital step to protect your health. In fact, hearing impairment can be a side effect of certain medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

The test is a physical examination of your ears both inside and around the outer ear canal as well as tests on different parts of the ear. Regular screenings catch changes in your hearing over time, allowing you to treat them before they become severe.

Age-Related Hearing Loss

Even people who don’t experience noticeable hearing loss should make regular appointments to audiologist for a screening. These tests are a great way to ensure that your hearing is as healthy as possible and to pick up on any issues that might require attention, such as tinnitus or gradual loss of high-frequency sounds.

As we get older, our hearing is more susceptible to deterioration as a result of natural aging processes or exposure to noise. This is called presbycusis, and it typically affects higher frequencies more than lower ones.

The good news is that it’s easier to address hearing loss in the early stages, when it can still be corrected by medications or hearing aids. By catching any issues as soon as they arise, you can prevent the negative effects that come with untreated hearing loss, such as isolation, feelings of depression and anxiety, and poor communication.

During a hearing test, known as audiometry, you wear headphones and listen to short tones played at different volumes (loudnesses) and pitches (frequencies) in each ear. Depending on your response, the results will show whether you can hear each sound, and whether one ear responds better than the other. This is the type of screening that most people remember from childhood and is the most common way to assess hearing. It’s a quick and simple evaluation, and it can be performed at any age.

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Preventive Care

It’s important to understand that hearing loss isn’t just a natural part of aging, but it can also be caused by certain medical conditions or lifestyle choices. Getting regular screenings allows individuals to catch hearing loss before it becomes too severe. In some cases, this prevents them from missing out on social opportunities and can help ensure that they receive the best treatment possible.

The most effective way to monitor a person’s hearing is through a comprehensive audiology test called the CAEP. This tests the ear canals to see how well sound passes through, and it also looks at how the lower portion of the brain (the auditory nerve) responds to these sounds.

Hearing tests allow the audiologist to establish a baseline for an individual’s hearing health, which makes it easier for them to spot changes over time. In some cases, these changes may be slight, but catching them early on can make the difference between having a healthy life or having to cope with more serious issues in later life.

Bundoora hearing test is also important if an individual regularly exposes themselves to loud noises, such as in their job. In this case, regular testing can help the audiologist to recommend protective equipment or even suggest that they avoid loud environments altogether. This can stop hearing loss from progressing and help them maintain a high quality of life.

Detecting Hearing Loss

Because of how gradual hearing loss can progress, it can go undetected for quite some time. If left untreated, it can lead to a variety of issues including tinnitus and a diminished quality of life. Thankfully, a simple screening can catch these changes and offer treatment recommendations early.

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The first step in detecting hearing loss is to schedule a comprehensive exam with your audiologist. This will include a baseline test and a more in-depth analysis of the inner, outer and middle ears. It will also reveal any other hearing-related problems such as tinnitus and auditory processing disorders.

A baseline test is a pure tone audiometry test that will measure your hearing. During this test, you will sit in a sound proof booth and be presented with different pitches or tones. Your audiologist will record your responses and plot them on a chart called an audiogram, which will give him or her a snapshot of your current hearing health.

A more in-depth analysis will look at specific frequencies and determine if you are experiencing damage to the outer, middle or inner ear. It will also show the severity of the condition, which can then be used as a reference in your future tests and treatments.

Treatment

When you schedule regular hearing tests in Dandenong, your audiologist can help identify any changes in the health of your ears. They can recommend treatment that helps slow the progression of hearing loss, such as wearing hearing aids or other solutions. Your audiologist will also be able to uncover any health concerns that could be causing your hearing loss, such as ear wax buildup or other medical issues like cardiovascular disease or diabetes.

A standard hearing screening typically consists of pure-tone audiometry and speech audiometry. In a soundproof room, your audiologist will use headphones to play tones at different volumes and frequencies for each ear. You will be asked to respond by raising your hand or pressing a button when you hear each tone. The audiologist will then ask you to repeat back single-syllable words at a certain volume to determine your ability to perceive soft sounds, which is known as speech audiometry.

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Other testing that may be conducted includes otoacoustic emissions and the auditory brainstem response test (ABR). For this test, electrodes are placed on your head and ears to measure responses from the inner ear and hearing pathways. Otoacoustic emissions are sounds that are produced by vibrations of hair cells in the cochlea, and the audiologist will use this to see whether there is any blockage or fluid in your ear canal or damage to your eardrums or acoustic reflexes.