Hearing impairment affects more than just your ability to hear — it affects your quality of life. Southern Maine Audiology stresses the importance of an accurate and timely diagnostic hearing test. The hearing evaluation is just the beginning of your treatment, and it’s essential to setting your unique care plan in motion and taking action on hearing loss. Your in-depth hearing evaluation will help us craft a treatment plan that renews your ability to hear, allowing you to truly hear your best and live life on your terms.
Step One: Your Personalized Consultation
The Personalized Consultation process helps our practice determine the extent of your hearing impairment and aids us in uncovering any specific areas requiring further attention. Some typical questions you’ll want to prepare for are:
- Has anyone else in your family had hearing problems?
- Have you had any illnesses or injuries that might have affected your hearing?
- Have you taken any medications that might have contributed to hearing impairment?
- Have you been exposed to loud noises in your workplace or while participating in leisure activities?
Step Two: The Examination
Our Hearing Healthcare Specialist will take a close look inside your ear and figure out whether the hearing difficulty you are experiencing could be caused by an obstruction or damage to the ear canal or eardrum. We use a special instrument called an otoscope or video otoscope to inspect your outer ear.
Step Three: Hearing Tests
Next we’ll need to figure out the nature of your hearing loss. There’s a chance we will include hearing tests such as the following:
- A hearing screening to measure your hearing at four frequencies at 25 decibels each
- A speech assessment to measure how well you hear and understand ordinary conversation at different volumes
- A middle-ear evaluation to measure how your eardrum and hearing react to varying degrees of air pressure
If you are suffering from a hearing impairment, your results will be documented on an audiogram. An audiogram is created after you take a pure-tone hearing test, to map out the type, degree, and configuration of your hearing loss. The audiogram shows your hearing loss by frequency, as pitch and loudness of sounds change. Frequencies are measured in hertz (Hz), and the loudness or intensity is measured in decibels (dB). We will help determine whether you have trouble hearing low or high pitches and what that means for you moving forward.
Step Four: Lifestyle-Based Hearing Needs Assessment
Information is gathered from you and your family members regarding your ability to hear in various environments. It is very important to share with our Hearing Healthcare Specialist the situations in which you are looking to improve. She is able to offer recommendations for hearing aids based on the information you share, cosmetics, dexterity, as well as the type and degree of hearing loss. We will work within your budget and will not dispense unnecessary products. The selection of hearing aids is a personal process. A number of factors must be taken into account when determining first and foremost if hearing aids are right for you. Our goal is to ensure that you and your loved ones are actively involved when selecting the appropriate hearing aid.