Ledford Beltone

Why Should I  Get My Hearing Tested?

Early detection of a hearing loss is key! It is important to know where you stand with your hearing as it may affect your overall health since hearing loss can happen at any age and can play a role in other health issues.
With over 33 million Americans suffering from hearing loss, medical professionals believe it is important to get a baseline screening, followed by an annual evaluation after the age of 50. Hearing loss is the third most common chronic health problem in older adults in the U.S., and only 30% of individuals with hearing difficulties actually wear hearing aids.  You should not wait until you are notice a hearing loss to get a screening.  Early detection of hearing loss can allow your hearing specialist to monitor your hearing and provide you with the best action to take.

What To Expect During Your Visit

Your Beltone Specialist will guide you through a completely painless evaluation, which includes a video ear scan and a comprehensive hearing test.
• Video Ear Scan: Is it wax? Checking for excessive wax or other physical medical conditions is the first step to a hearing test. This is done by using an otoscope to physically look inside your ear canal. At this point, you will be able to see inside your ear, on a large TV screen, as the hearing specialist is looking as well. During this guided tour of your ear, the hearing specialist can answer any questions you may have at this time. This process is completely painless and takes very little time to conduct. If excessive wax is found we may be able to remove it, otherwise we can provide a referral to have it removed.
• Comprehensive Hearing Test: At Beltone, getting your hearing tested is completely painless and there are never any co-pays or an obligation to buy. Our state-of-the-art testing equipment ensures that we provide you with the most thorough, precise and accurate testing results. Learn exactly what you are and are not hearing. Our computerized audiometric hearing test will show the different sound levels (or volumes) and tones (or frequencies) at which you are hearing and will also determine how well you are hearing and understanding speech in different types of environments (this is also called “speech discrimination”).
During your comprehensive hearing test, your hearing specialist will take you through the steps of a thorough evaluation. These painless steps include:
• Pure Tone Air Conduction Testing: This test measures your hearing ability for each ear across different frequencies and intensities. This is the portion of a hearing evaluation that most people think of when getting a hearing evaluation. For this portion of the test, you will sit comfortably in a sound-treated booth (with visibility to your hearing specialist) with earphones placed in each ear. You will then use a hand-held push button to signal when you hear the tones as they are presented. Your hearing will be assessed in each ear separately. The hearing specialist will use a computer to chart your responses electronically on an audiogram.
• Pure Tone Bone Conduction Testing: This test uses the same tones as the prior test however, the difference is that it helps to determine if the hearing difficulty that you are experiencing is the result of an outer, middle or inner ear problem. This test can also be performed for those with impacted earwax which would prevent a traditional pure tone (earphone) test.
Once the pure tone testing is complete, your results will be reviewed with you in detail. If your hearing is within normal range, the specialist will report the good news and advise you to update your hearing test annually to ensure you’re continuing to hear well. If a clinically significant hearing loss is identified after these portions of the test, your hearing specialist can review possible solutions to help improve your hearing abilities. Oftentimes, hearing aids are an appropriate solution if you have a hearing loss that is within the fittable range.
Speech Audiometry: As many people mention understanding speech as a main hearing concern, there are a series of speech-based tests that will be completed.  One of the most important is Speech Discrimination as it allows us to evaluate how well you understand words spoken in both quiet and noisy environments.  A loved one or family member may be used to help in this part of the test, as their voices are most familiar to you.