What Happens During A Hearing Evaluation?

Hearing Loss

There are many possible causes of hearing loss – anything from a damaged eardrum or a simple wax blockage, to deterioration of hearing caused by the natural ageing process. In fact, around 1 in 7 of us have some degree of hearing difficulty.

Hair Cells

Hearing loss is most commonly caused by damage to the hair cells in the cochlea located in the inner ear. This is either due to the natural ageing process or other causes, such as exposure to loud noise, disease or infection.

The hair cells transmit sound in the form of nerve impulses to the brain, which interprets them as recognisable sounds.

Damaged hair cells cannot send complete signals to your brain, making speech less distinctive especially in background noise. Speech becomes difficult to follow as words appear to run into one another.

Your Hearing Evaluation

We recommend that people over the age 55 have their hearing tested on a regular basis as part of their overall healthcare regime.

A hearing evaluation with one of our clinicians will allow you to learn more about your ears and your hearing. The test is straightforward and comprises of four stages:

Stage One – Your Consultation

Your Clinician will start by asking you about your general health and discuss your hearing.

Stage Two – The Ear Examination

The clinician will then examine your ears with an otoscope, a special torch-like device that is used to illuminate your ear canal and ear drum. They will then check to ensure that your ears are healthy and there are no obstructions in your ear canal that affect your ability to hear.

Stage Three – The Hearing evaluation

The hearing evaluation itself is conducted on a puretone audiometer, a calibrated device linked to a computer which delivers a series of sounds at different pitches and volumes through a set of headphones. You will be asked to indicate which of a series of sounds you can hear and the results will be plotted on a graph called an audiogram, which shows how well you can hear compared against the normal range and may include speech testing and tympanometry.

Stage Four – Discussion of the Results

The clinician will discuss with you what the results of the hearing test show and recommend any action, if any, that might be needed to improve your hearing. If you do need a hearing aid, the clinician will explain and demonstrate the options available to you. Whatever the outcome, you will receive unbiased, confidential, professional advice as to your individual hearing requirements.