The Importance of Hearing Tests

A hearing test should be a part of everyone’s overall health and wellness plan. Just like visiting your doctor or dentist, we should also get into a routine of monitoring our hearing health regularly. Having a hearing test every year is strongly encouraged, especially for those over 55, someone with a family history of hearing loss, folks who work in loud environments or people with medical conditions such as Diabetes, Kidney Disease or Cardiovascular issues. However, as we get older, we naturally become more susceptible to hearing loss because of changes to the structures of our auditory system. A hearing test performed by a certified Audiologist will determine if you have hearing loss, the degree of hearing loss as well as what type of hearing loss is present.

Hearing Loss is on the Rise

According to Statistics Canada, 4.6 million adults reported having a hearing loss in 2013, today it is estimated that 2 in 5 adults are experiencing some degree of hearing loss.

Changes in hearing happen very gradual, you may not initially notice you have had a change. Friends, family or colleagues are often the first to notice a change in your hearing, noting that conversations are slower and more difficult than before. Even though you are the one with hearing loss, everyone in your social network now has a hearing problem. This can lead to a very negative impact on one’s overall health and wellness. Modern hearing health care is able to support healthy hearing by monitoring changes in hearing levels, educating on noise protection and recommending hearing devices to suit any lifestyle or listening needs.

What happens during a hearing test?

At Hearing Institute Atlantic we complete a full audiological test battery, which provides a picture of your current Hearing Health status.  The series of tasks completed during a full audiological evaluation allows for multiple areas of investigation including; hearing loss, middle ear dysfunction, speech understanding and cognition to name a few.  At times we may discover the need to refer to an Otolaryngologist (ENT) and we will work with your family physician to facilitate referrals as necessary.

Here is an outline of the tasks performed during a full hearing assessment:

  • Case History (intake questionnaire)
  • Otoscopy (visual inspection of the external ear, ear canal, and eardrum)
  • Immittance Test/Tympanometry (test of the function of middle ear system)
  • Threshold Test (air conduction and bone conduction)
  • Speech Recognition (assessed in quiet)
  • Speech In Noise Test ( speech recognition with noise present)
  • Extended High Frequency Test (assessment of sounds beyond 8000Hz)

Results and Recommendations

Once the hearing test battery is completed your Audiologist will review your results with you right away. A form called an Audiogram is used to record the result of each test above.

  • If you have normal hearing results a recommendation for routine hearing screenings will be made and a followup plan established. Hearing conservation will also be addressed, especially for those who work in a loud environment, musicians or those who enjoy leisure activities in elevated sounds environments (Hunting, ATV, Sports, etc).
  • If your results reveal a hearing loss which requires no further investigation than your Audiologists will recommend options for intervention including; hearing devices, counselling and support, aural rehabilitation, and communication strategies.

Having a hearing test is part of a healthy, active lifestyle.

Don’t let fear, stigma or procrastination prevent you from knowing your hearing health status. Our expert Audiologists will provide professional, friendly and accurate results so that you can maintain connections to loved ones, remain engaged in day to day activities and continue doing the things you love to do.