Comprehensive Hearing Assessments

When Was Your Last Hearing Assessment?

You have your cholesterol and blood pressure checked frequently. You are consistent about scheduling annual checkups and having your vision checked regularly. However, can you recall when you had your last hearing assessment?

For many adults, their last hearing test was in US term school or junior high.

We see patients every day that refuse to believe that they have a hearing loss, yet when tested, a rather significant hearing loss is sometimes discovered. Only when we fit them with hearing aids, do they realize just how much they have been missing.

The reason for this is because hearing loss is often very slow and gradual, making it almost impossible to notice any day-to-day differences with no way to compare to what their hearing was once like. This is why your loved ones often notice a hearing loss before you do.

The problem is, the longer a hearing loss is left untreated, the worse it continues to get, with the impact being irreversible.

One of the main reasons that many people do not address their hearing challenges is because of misconceptions or myths, but how many of those myths are really true?

Schedule a Hearing Assessment

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Haley Morris gave me the hearing test was very knowledgable , and she took time to explain everything to me and answer any questions I had.

Linda Mattia

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We received great personal service and were given all of the information and options to make an informed
decision.

Caren Davidge

Hearing Tests Myth Busting

Unproven theories and beliefs often guide people’s decisions when it comes to hearing tests, in spite of broad access to factual information. For purposes of clarity, here are six of the most common myths about hearing tests and what is really true.

MYTH #1: My hearing loss doesn’t bother anybody, so why have my hearing checked?

FACT: You are the person most harmed by hearing loss. In addition to having a negative impact on your quality of life and living an independent lifestyle, hearing loss makes it difficult to communicate important information. Hearing loss contributes to the development of mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, and isolation, while also increasing your risk for additional physical health problems. Your increased dependence on others strains relationships at home and work, further complicating your life. The good news is that the effects of these issues can be limited with early detection and treatment of hearing loss.

MYTH #2: If I really had a hearing problem, I would know it, so why bother with a test?

FACT: You probably don’t see the grass growing in your yard, but you are well aware when it is time to cut it. Recognizing hearing loss is just like watching the grass grow. Most people fail to recognize or admit to it until communication becomes a struggle. The objectivity provided by a hearing test allows audiologists to identify something that you cannot. Your wisest choice is to have a hearing test before hearing loss becomes a debilitating issue.

MYTH #3: If you can’t hear, just turn up the volume and skip the hearing test.

FACT: Although loudness is one of the issues associated with hearing loss, problems with hearing clarity are equally important. Simply amplifying distorted sound only adds to the problem. Difficulty hearing when there is background noise is evidence of a reduced capacity to sort out sounds that are close and far away. Difficulty distinguishing between different consonants typically leads to misunderstanding conversations. A reduced capacity to hear certain frequencies leads to struggling to understand phone conversations or the voices of women and children. All of these issues are related to hearing clarity, which a hearing assessment can identify.

MYTH #4: Only old people need hearing tests.

FACT: Nearly 20% of the adult population in the US, including individuals between the ages of 18 and 44, experience some form of hearing loss. Although age-related deterioration is one of several causes for hearing loss, other causes, such as injury from an excessive noise event, noise exposure, prolonged use of ototoxic medication, genetics, diseases, brain injuries, and other causes, can affect individuals of all ages. Hearing tests not only help to identify hearing loss, but they also provide an opportunity to learn about preventative measures you can take if your test shows you have normal hearing.

MYTH #5: You won’t learn anything significant from a hearing test.

FACT: Your brain adapts and compensates over time as your capacity to hear decreases. This adaptation makes it difficult to determine how severe the problem has become. Hearing tests reveal the extent of your hearing loss and provide audiologists with the necessary information to prescribe hearing devices or pursue other treatments to correct the issue. The parameters for custom programming a hearing aid or assistive listening device come from the data gathered during a hearing test, allowing audiologists to achieve the best results when treating your specific condition.

MYTH #6: Hearing tests are painful.

FACT: Unless you consider a friendly conversation, wearing headphones, or taking a quick peek into your ears painful, you can hardly say that hearing tests hurt. A hearing assessment at West Coast Hearing is a non-invasive process. Our procedures follow best audiological practices in a comfortable, relaxed, and caring atmosphere.

Otoscope

How It Works

We follow four basic steps in our hearing assessment process, including:

A Warm Welcome To Our Clinic

COVID-19 protocols have limited our capacity to serve you a cup of coffee and a doughnut, but we still provide a comfortable place to greet you and take care of your needs. We recommend having any necessary paperwork taken ahead of your arrival in order to limit the amount of waiting time and exposure to others in our waiting room.

A Friendly Chat

The first part of your hearing assessment is a friendly conversation, which allows us to get to know you and your needs. Besides our interest in establishing a rapport, our conversation will fill in information about your family, medical history, occupation, hobbies, and other aspects of your lifestyle, which are critical for providing individualized care that fits your objectives and how you live.

Hearing Assessment Tests

We’ll start this part of the process with a quick physical examination of your ears, ear canal, and tympanic membrane using an otoscope, tympanometer, and a tuning fork. Following this, your audiologist will seat you in a soundproof booth and fit you with a set of high-quality headphones.

We’ll transmit a range of sounds or spoken words at various frequencies and volume levels to which you will respond as you hear each sound. The information we gather is plotted on an audiogram, which we use to determine the volume thresholds at each frequency.

Discussion Of Your Results

After completing the tests, your audiologist will review the results of your tests and clarify what they mean. We will discuss any hearing loss or other issues the tests have identified and discuss the various options available.

Your input is extremely important during this step of the process because we consider the treatment of your hearing as a partnership, which combines our expertise with your needs, objectives, lifestyle, and personal preferences.

Schedule a Hearing
Assessment

If you’re concerned about your hearing or a loved one’s hearing, then the first step is to schedule a comprehensive hearing assessment.

A hearing assessment at West Coast Hearing and Balance Center is quick, non-invasive and we’ll be able to share the results with you immediately.

Simply complete this form referencing your preferred day and time, and we’ll contact you shortly to schedule your appointment.