While hearing loss isn’t reversible, most age or noise related loss can be managed and often compensated for. Sometimes that means medication or surgery. But just as eyeglasses are used to correct most vision problems, hearing instruments are used to treat most kinds of hearing loss. Any treatment starts with a screening of your hearing by a doctor or hearing professional.
Once you know the nature and extent of the hearing loss, you’ll be able to make your own decisions about treatment. But first, take the opportunity to educate yourself about hearing and how hearing loss occurs.
HAVING YOUR HEARING TESTED
Unlike most medical tests, the tests that measure hearing ability are relatively quick and painless. An audiologist or hearing instrument specialist will probably perform 3 or 4 simple exams, which may include:
Otoscopy, or looking into the ears with a lighted scope.
An audiogram, a sound check that produces a mapping or graphical representation of hearing ability.
And a tympanogram, which measures the pressure of the inner ear and assesses the ear drum’s mobility.
These tests are performed at the hearing professional’s office and usually take less than an hour to complete. With the information from these tests, your hearing professional will be able to make an accurate assessment of your hearing capabilities and advise you of all your treatment options. In most cases, this means hearing instruments. If a medical problem is found, your hearing professional will refer you to a physician for next steps.