If you suspect you have a hearing loss, it’s important to have your hearing evaluated. At The Hearing House, we also recommend that those over age 55 come in for a hearing baseline test, especially if you haven’t had your hearing evaluated in the last ten years.
Our board-certified hearing instrument specialists use equipment called an audiometer to evaluate your hearing. This is the first step to determine how well you hear. If you show any hearing loss, this test will detail the extent, type and specifics of your hearing deficit.
The exam begins with a check of the ear canal, known as otoscopy. The next step in the hearing evaluation includes pure tone testing, bone conduction testing, speech testing and speech-in-noise testing.
Pure tone testing determines the quietest tones you can hear at different frequencies. Bone conduction testing helps to pinpoint the location of your hearing loss (outer/middle ear or inner ear). Speech testing determines how well you recognize words spoken softly. Speech-in-noise testing gives an indication as to how well you hear speech in a noisy situation.
The importance of hearing evaluations
Essentially, the hearing evaluation determines the best treatment for your hearing loss. Sometimes hearing loss is temporary or may be treated medically or surgically. Most commonly, hearing loss is age-related and is treated with hearing aids. If the hearing instrument specialists at The Hearing House determine that you would benefit from hearing aids, these tests indicate what type of hearing aids will best suit your needs.
What to expect at a hearing evaluation
The evaluation will take about an hour or so, with time included to discuss the results and answer any questions you may have. We encourage you to bring a family member or close friend to the appointment for support and to help you assess the information. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! We want you to be an active participant in selecting the hearing solutions that work best for your lifestyle.
Prior to your appointment, you’ll complete a hearing history and discuss any hearing issues you have noticed, including noise exposure and any medicine you are taking.
Live speech mapping
If you need hearing aids, the professionals at The Hearing House are well-skilled in the latest technology, including live speech mapping. This process helps make hearing aid programming more effective by using speech as the stimulus to adjust the devices to the right settings for you.
Live speech mapping also generally reduces the number of office visits required to get your hearing aids programmed to the best settings for you, increasing the chances that your hearing aid mapping will be correct on the first try. It uses small microphones to distinguish differences in how you hear speech through your hearing aids. The microphones are placed in the ear canal along with the hearing aid to gauge how well you hear live voices. It’s best to have a family member or two at the appointment so that their voices are part of the testing. You and your family benefit by seeing immediate results as to how your hearing aids will have a positive effect on your day-to-day life. Live speech mapping also provides you with the ability to notice improvements in your hearing immediately. The results are mapped in real time to allow the hearing instrument specialist to “see” what you are hearing.
If you think you have hearing issues, give us a call at The Hearing House. We have four locations – Colby, Wausau, Neillsville and Marshfield. At each of our four locations, we offer free services you won’t find elsewhere: free hearing assessments, free video ear canal inspections, free live hearing aid demos, free real ear measured adjustments and free cleaning for most hearing aids. Make your house a hearing house. Call us at (715) 406-4300 today!