What Happens During a Hearing Test?

Hearing tests are something that many people will have at some point during their lives. If you’re someone who has never had a hearing test, we hope this article can be useful in telling you what to expect if you do need to attend one later down the line.

A hearing test is carried out by a qualified Audiologist. The purpose of a hearing test is to gain a clear concise picture of your hearing health. The results can indicate what type of hearing loss you may have, it can show us the severity of the loss across a range of frequencies and what type of hearing aid may be suitable for your hearing loss. At Otec Hearing, our expert hearing aid dispensers will take their time in understanding your lifestyle, needs for a hearing aid and any personal challenges you may have.

A thorough medical history is also discussed to determine any health effects on your hearing. Once this has been completed a medical device called an Audiometer will be used to carry out the hearing test. The test is carried out by the Audiologist who will ask you to wear some calibrated headphones. This is known as air conduction – the sounds you can hear via headphones. Once you have the headphones on you will hear a range of different beeps and buzzes at different frequencies. The Audiologist will ask you to respond to the quietest sounds you can hear by pressing a response button.

Testing is also carried out with a headband called a bone conductor; the bone conductor is placed on the back bony area of the ear. The patient again responds to the quietest sounds with the response button.
Air conduction and bone conduction results and plotted on a graph called an Audiogram. The Audiologist will discuss the hearing test results with you and inform you of the severity of your hearing loss. If you have a free hearing test at Otec Hearing, our experts will then offer you certain hearing aid solutions and discuss which one may be the best to suit your lifestyle and needs. If there is a hearing loss present the Audiologist will offer a demonstration to show you the difference in rediscovering your hearing. At this point, you also have the option to start your free hearing aid trial on the day so you can experience your hearing ability with the equipment in various environments.

Preventing Hearing Loss

Hearing loss affects 1 in 6 people, this is almost over 10 million people in the UK who suffer. Hearing loss cannot always be avoidable as it is part of the gradual ageing process. There are some steps you can take to avoid damage to your hearing system no matter how old you are.

Firstly, it is best to avoid situations where there are excessive background noises, you can make a judgement on how loud peripheral noises are if you are having to raise your voice in order to be heard. Other red flags are if you struggle to hear the person next to you or if you experience pain in your ears. Prolonged noise exposure in these environments can cause permanent damage to your hearing. To keep your ears healthy, it is recommended you minimise your time in areas with high noise pollution.

It is quite common for an individual to have their headphone or earphone volume higher than it is recommended. But what effect does this have? Using headphones or earphones excessively at high volumes can cause hearing impairment. It is advisable to have the volume level at no more than 65% of the maximum volume. Headphones with noise-cancelling technology are the better choice to use as this will prevent you from having to turn up your overall volume in order to block out surrounding sounds.

If you work in a particularly noisy environment it is the duty of your employer to make changes to your working conditions to reduce as much noise pollution as possible. This can be done by changing the job/machinery you work on. Make sure you are not exposed to loud noises for prolonged periods. Your employer must provide you with hearing protection if it’s required.

We hope this article has been helpful, if you still have any questions regarding preventing hearing loss, feel free to get in touch with us by emailing us or giving us a call on 01522 305400.

Signs and Diagnosis of Hearing Loss

Signs and Diagnosis of Hearing Loss:
For many people, hearing loss is a natural and gradual part of the aging process. Hearing loss can also be caused by genetic medical conditions, ear infections, illness, traumatic injury, or prolonged exposure to noise. It is reported that there are more than 10 million people in the UK with hearing loss. Hearing loss is one of the world’s most common health problems. It is also one of the most ignored problems, this is unfortunate because hearing loss and its psychological side effects are highly treatable.

How do I know if I’m suffering from Hearing Loss?
There are many signs of hearing loss, these can include:

  • asking people to repeat themselves
  • difficulty understanding speech clarity in a noisy social situation such as bars & restaurants
  • having the volume of the TV louder than others
  • difficulty in locating the direction of sounds and poor understanding when following group conversations.

Who diagnoses me with Hearing Loss, if it’s something I’m suffering from?
A hearing test is carried out by a qualified health care professional or an Audiologist. The test can last up to 20 minutes and gives a diagnosis as to whether you may or may not have a hearing loss, if a hearing loss is detected the severity and type of hearing loss can be determined. At Otec Hearing, we provide a free hearing test, and we come to you. Visit our hearing test page for more information.

How can hearing loss be treated?
Hearing loss is treated depending on the type of hearing loss present. Medications such as steroids or a small surgical procedure to remove a blockage can be used as a treatment. Alternative treatments such as hearing aids which are assistive medical devices can help provide rich sound quality in many environments. If you have any questions or queries around hearing loss, feel free to get in touch with us by either emailing us or calling us on 01522 305400.

Types & Causes of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is a common problem and affects the ability partially or totally for an individual to hear. It can affect any age group from children to adults.

There are two types of hearing loss, these can be identified as conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss. A conductive hearing loss usually occurs when there is a blockage or a defect in the middle ear, this can be caused by excessive ear wax build-up, damaged eardrums, middle ear infections, fluid behind the eardrum, and the rigidity of the 3 ossicular bones in the middle ear. Conductive hearing losses are usually treated by a physician or ENT consultant and often have a high success rate. Hearing aids can be very successful if the hearing loss is unable to be treated medically.

A sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the inner hair cells in the Cochlea, this causes impairment to the transmission of sound to the brain resulting in hearing loss. The main cause of this hearing loss is the natural aging process. Noise exposure can also damage the inner hair cells, genetic factors can also affect sensorineural loss. There is no medication or surgery available to regenerate the inner hair cells and the only treatment for this type of hearing loss is a hearing instrument. At Otec Hearing, we provide hearing tests and can recommend the correct hearing aid to suit your needs should you need one.

Hearing loss can be caused by many different factors, some of which we have no control over, this includes ear infections, excessive ear wax build-up or head injuries. However, factors such as excessive noise exposure may cause hearing loss, which is something that we can control.

So, in conclusion, hearing loss is something that happens to us all, and in some instances, we can’t do a whole lot about it. However, where we can, we should ensure that we protect and take care of our ears as they are extremely precious. For more information on hearing loss, feel free to get in contact with us by dropping an email, or giving us a call on 01522 305400.