Hearing is the most important sense that helps us interact with the outside world and live in society. We enjoy the singing of birds, our favorite music, the rustle of herbs, and, of course, the voices of our loved ones. We enjoy the sounds without thinking that our hearing may be ruined. Meanwhile, hearing loss is a common problem that millions of people have. Most people have regular dental check-ups but when it comes to hearing, such attentiveness is replaced by unjustified frivolity!
Why is a hearing test important?
People don’t take hearing problems seriously until some problems arise. Most of us take healthy hearing for granted. However, this is not the case.
The organs of hearing are a fragile system that is easy to damage and difficult to heal. Even if you listen to music loudly every day, it is already harmful to your hearing. Are you a professional musician? Then you are already at risk. The modern way of life, especially in large cities, harms our hearing. Almost every person is at risk of losing hearing even at a young age.
Statistics confirm this. According to recent studies, the number of people with hearing loss is growing every year. The problem is gradually getting younger. Today, audiologists are not surprised when teenagers and even children come to them for an appointment, although 10-15 years ago, hearing loss was a characteristic feature of the elderly.
What does a hearing test have to do with it? Most often, hearing loss develops gradually. A person does not notice symptoms, getting used to new acoustic conditions. As a result, he gets to the doctor’s office late, and time plays a crucial role in hearing loss. The sooner you notice the problem and ask for help, the easier and faster the recovery will be. It’s important to check your hearing, even if you don’t experience any problems!
How often should I have a hearing test?
When was the last time you tested your hearing? I bet, you can’t even remember it, and you’re not alone. Most people don’t get their hearing tested until their face hearing troubles. Hearing impairment for the most part develops slowly and at first, proceeds almost imperceptibly. In such a regard, it is very important to detect the problem on time.
Audiologists recommend checking your hearing at least once a year. If your profession is associated with noise loads (musicians or builders, for example), then it is reduced to six months. It is possible to check hearing health more often, not less. Moreover, today there are effective and simple hearing tests.
Common hearing tests methods available to everyone
Hearing testing is a mandatory measure for the prevention of various problems with the organs of hearing. Today there are various hearing tests, which audiologists use when working with patients. Let’s look at the 3 most simple and effective methods. They are suitable for both adults and children!
Speech audiometry is the simplest and most accessible hearing test. It helps determine various hearing problems. The ability to hear and understand speech is more important for communication than the ability to hear pure tones. Therefore, speech audiometry has both diagnostic and therapeutic value.
Audiologists, when examining the patient, begin the diagnosis with speech audiometry. This is an initial examination. The doctor will determine:
- the state of hearing, the type, and degree of hearing loss;
- the operation of the hearing aid;
- speech intelligibility
Based on the results of audiometry, it is also possible to assess the communicative capabilities, that is, the extent to which the patient can communicate in everyday life.
Speech audiometry won’t determine the degree of hearing loss or other abnormalities. But the method has an important advantage – accessibility. You can use this method at home if you suspect hearing loss in yourself or a loved one.
Diagnosis is desirable to perform in a room with a minimum amount of extraneous noise. Move away from the person by 5-6 m and start pronouncing the words in a whisper, changing the volume. If a person does not repeat words or some phrases, then he has some problems with hearing, which is a signal for an appointment with an audiologist!
Online hearing test
It is another simple and effective method, which is available to almost everyone. To conduct it, you must have any device with Internet access and headphones to hear sound signals. Such devices are in every home nowadays, so a free online hearing test is a great opportunity to check hearing health.
Such a test won’t show the degree of hearing loss. But its results confirm the presence of hearing loss. Do not be afraid to undergo such hearing tests. They won’t take much time, but they can help to detect hearing loss at the initial stage of development.
Tonal audiometry is the most effective and painless method for diagnosing hearing health. The study helps determine the type and extent of hearing loss. What’s more, the results of tonal audiometry can help to determine the required power of the hearing aid for treatment.
The audiologist conducts tonal audiometry with the help of special devices – audiometers. You must sit on a chair, take a comfortable position, and put on headphones connected to the audiometer. During audiometry, two types of conductivity of sounds are investigated:
- Air conductivity. The device will generate sounds of different pitches and volumes and redirect them to the headphones. You need to press a special button if you hear a sound
- Bone conduction. Sound vibrations are transmitted to the inner ear through the bones of the skull, bypassing the external auditory canal and tympanic cavity. You need to press a button if you “hear” these vibrations.
The test results are recorded in a special form. Next, the audiologist receives a special schedule (audiogram), which helps to assess the state of your hearing.
The doctor may assess the type and degree of hearing loss during tone audiometry. It is important for many ear diseases. The doctor will receive values for each ear, which is valuable for hearing restoration!
Do you want to enjoy the sounds of the world and the voices of loved ones? You don’t want to wear hearing aids at 40 or even earlier, do you? Take care of your hearing health! Annual diagnosis and testing is the best method of preventing hearing loss. Remember, the sooner you notice the problem and start treatment, the faster your hearing will restore!