The difference between hearing screening and hearing evaluation can sometimes be confusing. A Hearing Screening is often done at no charge and can quickly determine whether or not you might have a hearing loss. People of any age can be screened for hearing loss. Anyone failing a hearing screening should be referred to a certified audiologist or physician that performs hearing assessments for a more comprehensive audiologic (hearing) evaluation. The follow-up evaluation should be conducted as soon as possible after the failed hearing screening and no more than 3 months later.
Hearing loss increase as a function of age, especially for frequencies of 2000 Hertz (Hz) and above. Sounds above 2000Hz are the soft consonant sounds such as /s/ in “sun” and /th/ in “thumb”. While more than 30% of people over age 65 have some type of hearing loss, 14% of those between 45 and 64 have hearing loss. Furthermore, close to 8 million people between the ages of 18 and 44 have hearing loss.
On your first visit to an audiologist, he or she will start by asking you questions about your medical and hearing history. This called the case history. Next, the audiologist will look into your ears using a light, called an otoscope, and check for anything in the ear canal that might affect the test results, or require a referral to your doctor. Finally, the audiologist will conduct a test or series of tests to assess:
Whether there is hearing loss
The cause of the hearing loss (to the extent possible)
The degree and configuration (one or both ears?) of hearing loss
The best treatment options
If you are an adult with hearing loss, aural/audiologic rehabilitation services will focus on adjusting to your hearing loss, making the best use of your hearing aids, exploring assistive devices that might help, managing conversations, and taking charge of your communication. Services can be individual, in small groups, or a combination of both. It is important to understand your specific hearing loss. Sometimes it takes several discussions with your audiologist and with your family in order to understand the consequences of the hearing loss.
As part of the treatment process, the audiologist will review the different types of hearing aids available and how they work. This will assist you in understanding why your kind of hearing aid was selected specifically for you. If you need hearing aids, they will be prescribed for you.
This review also helps family members understand that your hearing aid was a prescription for you. Often, well-meaning family members and friends might bring you advertisements for other kinds of hearing aids, or talk about other friends who have “better” hearing aids, but that’s simply because they do not understand that your hearing aid was chosen because it met the needs of your hearing loss and your common communication situations. Choosing a hearing professional is one of the most important decisions a hearing impaired person can make.
In Ontario, if you need hearing aids, you need a prescription for them. Audiologists and Physicians are the only health professionals that are allowed to prescribe hearing aids to a hearing impaired person. Hearing aid specialists are only allowed to sell you a hearing aid once you have legally obtained a prescription for them.
Auburn and Mountain Hearing Centres believe in exceeding client satisfaction. We strive to provide current education, as well as compassionate hearing healthcare. Why trust your hearing to anyone else? Contact us for more details.