Most adults know that they need to visit their optometrist to get regular vision tests and the dentist to get cleanings twice a year, but when is the last time you went for a checkup on your hearing? Since your ability to hear can change over time, it can be difficult to notice changes until it’s too late.
How Does a Hearing Test Work?
To understand how a hearing test works, it is important to understand how sound works. When we hear, our brain is simply processing vibrations in the air around us. The speed of the vibration determines how high or low the sound is, and the height of the sound wave helps to determine how loud the noise will be. A hearing test will determine how well your ears and brain are processing sounds.
Most hearing tests occur in a quiet, sound-treated room to help avoid any distractions from outside noise.
Pure Tone Audiometry
A device will be placed in or over your ears and the audiologist will play tones at different pitches and volumes. Whenever you hear a noise, you will be required to give an indication that the sounds has been heard. This test is designed to determine which pitches you can hear and the lowest volume at which you can hear them.
Speech Tone Audiometry
This test is used to determine the softest speech threshold you can understand. Using live or recorded speech. You will be asked to repeat words back to the audiologist as soon as you hear them.
How Often Should I Receive a Hearing Test?
It is important that your hearing is tested routinely throughout your life. Each individual is different, but the AIHHP recommends the following guidelines:
Hearing Test Frequency
18 to 45 Years of Age
45 to 60 Years of Age
60+ Years of Age
The earlier you can begin getting hearing tests, the sooner you can establish a baseline for your hearing. This will help the audiologist determine what level your hearing is when it’s at its best and easily see how quickly your hearing function is declining.
If you haven’t gotten a hearing test in a while and you exhibit any of the following symptoms, it may be beneficial to get a hearing test:
- When talking with others, you frequently ask them to repeat themselves.
- You have trouble hearing others in noisy places
- Others tell you the TV or radio is too loud
- You have a constant ringing in your ears
- You have trouble talking on the phone and resort to using the speakerphone function.
Schedule a Hearing Exam
If it’s time for you to get a hearing exam, contact the hearing specialists at Coastal ENT by calling (912) 355-2335.