DIFFERENT WAYS TO TEST FOR HEARING LOSS

November 4, 2019

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Dr. Darcy Benson

Dr. Benson completed her audiology fellowship at the California Ear Institute, Palo Alto, CA, and received her Doctor of Audiology degree at Salus University, Osborne School of Audiology, Elkins Park, PA. Prior to that, she received her Master of Science degree in Communication Disorders from Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, and her Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, CA.
Dr. Darcy Benson

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If you suspect you may have hearing loss, it is recommended that you be tested to confirm if you have hearing loss, and how advanced it is.

If you have never had a hearing evaluation done before, you may be wondering what is involved. There are several ways to test for hearing loss, so we will go through a brief overview of them here. Not to worry: all methods are quick, easy and painless!

Simple Audible Tests

A test that is quick and easy is the whisper test: your doctor may ask you to cover one ear and whisper near the other ear to determine if you have hearing in that ear. Though it is not incredibly accurate, it can give the doctor a good idea of where to begin with other tests.

Get a Physical Exam

Your general physician may offer a hearing screening as part of your health check-up. This evaluation may include a physical examination: looking in your ear for inflammation, excessive ear wax or even structural problems that can lead to hearing loss.

Tuning Forks

Tuning forks are metal forks that produce a tune when they are hit together. Doctors can use tuning forks to do a quick test of hearing loss overall and where the damage has occurred.

Audiometer

An audiologist may also use an audiometer, which is a more accurate and thorough way to test hearing ability. During this test, you will be asked to wear headphones, with sounds isolated to one ear or the other. The sound will be repeated at different volume levels to test which you can hear.

Treatment for temporary hearing loss will depend on the source of the hearing loss. If you have a physical blockage, for example, like ear wax or a structural issue with your ear, the doctor may be able to remove or remedy it. For more severe structural issues surgery may help to correct the problem and restore normal hearing.

Cochlear implants may be another option if parts of the inner ear are not working correctly. Your doctor can explain this option, as well as its risks and benefits, if it is necessary for you.

Here at California Hearing Center we are committed to your hearing health. Call us today to set up an appointment for a hearing screening. We can discuss hearing aid options with you and work with you to find one that fits your budget.