You probably already know that hearing loss can affect your ability to converse and communicate. But did you also know that, left untreated, hearing loss is associated with depression, anxiety, falls and even dementia? Fortunately, hearing aids can prevent or delay these conditions.
Before you can be fit with a set of hearing aids, you must first undergo a hearing test. Below we review the differences between hearing screenings and hearing tests as well as when you should get each.
Hearing Screenings Vs. Hearing Tests
Hearing screenings determine whether or not a hearing loss is present, but they do not provide details about the nature of your hearing loss. Examples of hearing screenings include online hearing tests, questionnaires in practice brochures and questions your primary care physician asks you during a physical. If the screening indicates you have hearing loss, the next step is to schedule a hearing test.
Hearing tests, also known as comprehensive hearing evaluations, determine the type and degree of your hearing loss – information your audiologist can use to program a hearing aid to match the exact specifications your hearing loss requires. Comprehensive hearing evaluations are usually comprised of a number of tests, including pure tone audiometry, speech testing, otoacoustic emissions and auditory brainstem response.
Should You Get a Hearing Screening or a Hearing Test?
Populations who should be screened for hearing loss include newborns, people who work in noisy environments like Alto Construction and people who have a family history of hearing loss. You can ask yourself the following questions to see if you should be screened for hearing loss:
- Do you feel as though others are constantly mumbling?
- Do you ask people to repeat themselves often?
- Do you turn up the TV to a volume that is uncomfortable for others?
- Are you missing certain sounds, like rustling leaves and chirping birds?
- Do you have a hard time understanding the voices of women and children?
- Do you have difficulty following conversations in areas with lots of background noise?
If you meet any of the criteria listed above or answered yes to any of these questions, you should schedule a hearing test. In addition, you should schedule a baseline hearing test around age 60 in order to monitor future changes to your hearing. If you’re already being treated for hearing loss, schedule a hearing test annually so that your audiologist can tweak the programming of your hearing aids as needed. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Kampsen Hearing today.