Hearing Healthcare Professionals
Having your hearing checked should be routine health maintenance just like gaining a physical from a doctor's office, seeing a dentist for a dental checkup, or having your eyes examined. If you are beyond the age of 60, work in a noisy environment, or have frequent exposure to loud noises, an annual hearing check is recommended. Remember, hearing loss can be gradual, so an annual hearing check is a smart thing to do.
During a hearing examination, you may be asked to complete the following:
- An evaluation of personal hearing health or medical history. It is important to understand any issues that affect your hearing, such as genetic factors or other medical conditions like ear infections, allergies, colds, and even past traumas to the head.
- An evaluation of noise exposure. If you have frequent exposure to loud noises in the workplace, through a hobby, or in a social situation, you may be at higher risk for hearing loss.
- An otoscopic exam. Because earwax and other obstructions in the ear can cause hearing loss, an otoscope can be used to observe your ear canal and ear drum.
- A pure tone test. You will be provided with either headphones or soft earplugs to wear and will be placed in a sound-proof booth or room. You will be asked to listen for faint tones and either raise your hand or press a button when you hear the tone. Your responses to the tones will determine what frequencies you are able to hear.
- A speech test. This test will determine what spoken sounds you are able to recognize at different volumes.