The importance of getting regular hearing tests

We make it easy to look after the health of your ears and hearing

Hearing loss can develop slowly over time, and it may be difficult for you to notice the changes.  Gradual changes in hearing often go unnoticed, and we see the effects of this at Lions Hearing Clinic daily.

Early intervention is essential to maintaining healthy hearing and minimising the likelihood of dementia and other medical conditions.  Regular hearing assessments at one of our many Lions Hearing Clinics across WA will keep you on top of your hearing health so you can enjoy the sounds of your environment with ease.

A hearing test is usually a simple procedure that can be done in one standard appointment.  Most audiologists recommend annual hearing checkups for adults over 60 years, especially if you have been exposed to industrial noise or already have some hearing loss.  Younger adults should have their hearing checked every three to five years.

Hearing tests for kids should be undertaken as soon as this can be arranged if you have noticed any early signs of hearing loss or poor hearing.  Thinking that your child is not listening may indicate not hearing correctly.  Addressing hearing loss as early as possible is crucial for speech and language development.

Regular hearing tests at your local hearing clinic will assist with the following:
  1. It may reduce cognitive decline. Early treatment of hearing loss may avoid any potential effect on the brain’s sound processing, leading to cognitive decline.
  2. Diagnosis of any pre-existing hearing conditions and alerting you to one or more associated medical conditions. For example, identifying and treating health problems like high blood pressure, which can be linked to tinnitus, may help to relieve any issues with hearing loss or future damage to the structures of the ear.
  3. Prevention of further hearing loss with early diagnosis and intervention. The earlier an audiologist can identify any issues through a hearing test, the easier the hearing loss is to treat.  Treating problems when they first arise can prevent long-term and permanent damage to your hearing.
  4. Identify changes in your hearing levels over time. These may be difficult for you to notice as most changes are small.  However, routine hearing tests with your audiologist enable your hearing to be monitored over time.
  5. Adapt to changes in your daily life. Lifestyle changes, like retirement, new hobbies, or family circumstances, often mean that your listening environment changes.  It may be beneficial to change settings on your hearing aids or implants to enable you to hear better in these new circumstances.  Equally important is to protect your hearing, for example, when starting a new job in a noisy workplace or using power tools.
  6. Reduce the emotional impact of hearing loss. Hearing impairment can negatively affect interpersonal communication.  A regular hearing test will help avoid feelings of distress, frustration, anger, embarrassment, inferiority, shame, loss of identity, rejection, and loneliness caused by untreated hearing loss.
Hearing tests

Getting your hearing tested is called audiometry.  The testing equipment is called an audiometer, and the test result is called an audiogram audio is another word for sound.  The audiometer emits a series of sounds at different volume levels (loudness) and pitches (frequencies) through a special set of headphones and a device placed on the side of the head.

During your hearing test, you will be asked to listen to these sounds and indicate when these sounds are heard.  They become very soft, enabling the audiologist to determine how sensitive your hearing is at various pitches – the low sounds like that coming from a thunderstorm, male speakers, and high-frequency sounds from birds tweeting and children.  The audiologist can then determine whether intervention is necessary and what best assistance to provide.

Both ears are tested individually to assess whether damage or loss affects one side more than the other.  By testing through the headphones and the device on the side of the head, the audiologist can also determine whether your hearing loss is Conductive, Sensorineural or a mixture of both.  [See here for an explanation of these types of hearing loss.] The results will allow the audiologist to recommend a treatment plan that may include a hearing aid to improve your hearing and quality of life.

Hearing loss can affect your quality of life overall if not treated early on.   To ensure hearing loss doesn’t severely impact your quality of life and that of your loved ones and work colleagues, schedule regular hearing tests and audiograms at one of our many easily accessible Lions Hearing Clinics.

Book your appointment with Lions Hearing Clinic today for your next hearing test and start making your hearing health a priority.

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