Is your hearing all that it could be?

It’s all too easy to ignore hearing loss and pretend it isn’t happening. However, with around one in six adults suffering from some form of diminished hearing, you are far from alone.

Importantly, hearing loss addressed in the early stages helps to protect your from some surprising complications such as an increased risk of dementia, depression or tripping over.

The first step to resolving the issue is a hearing test. For those unclear about the whys and wherefores’ of a hearing test, here are the most common FAQ.

#1: How do I get a hearing test?

Most people approach an audiology clinic direct.

However, if you experience problems such as dizziness, feelings of nausea or sudden hearing loss, it’s best to contact your physician first. They will check you out for health related problems such as high blood pressure or infections, which could cause the symptoms. If there is no medical explanation for the problem, they may either refer you to an audiologist or suggest you schedule a routine hearing test with one.

#2: Who performs hearing tests?

Hearing tests can be performed by a number of healthcare individuals, but it’s best to see an audiologist. They can diagnose and treat your hearing loss, where others may only be able to determine if a hearing loss is present and recommend hearing aids.

#3: What is the best option for a hearing test?

The gold standard is to visit an audiologist. This is because they take a complete overview of your hearing health, including factors that aren’t related to your ears which can impact on hearing.

The audiologist may then suggest strategies to improve your hearing which do not always depend on a hearing device. Where a hearing device is appropriate, they are also perfectly placed to give unbiased advice about the best model to meet your needs. Hearing aid dispensers are competent to perform hearing tests, but lack the in depth training of an audiologist. They are often a cheaper alternative, but this is often balanced against offering a limited range of hearing devices and needing to meet sales targets.

#4: How long does a hearing test take?

Some clinics offer a short 15-minute assessment for those who aren’t sure if they have a problem or not. This screens you to see if a full test is necessary.

For those aware of impaired hearing then a full hearing test takes around one hour, which includes the audiologist taking a medical history and getting to know where and how you most struggle to hear.

#5: Does a hearing test hurt?

It may sound scary, but a hearing test won’t be painful.