Hearing is the ability to perceive and distinguish sounds by detecting changes in the pressure of the surrounding environment and vibrations. It is one of the five senses required for a healthy person to navigate through his or her surroundings. There is no doubt how valuable hearing is and how important it is to protect this ability. Unfortunately, hearing loss is a common problem especially among aging adults. However, it is important to note that although hearing loss may be more common among the elderly, anyone can suffer from it at any age. 

Hearing loss is usually a subtle and gradual process which can take years to be recognized and even longer to be acknowledged. In addition, several factors contribute to the loss of hearing over time. An individual may even be suffering from hearing loss issue without realizing it. The hearing is a valuable sense; however, it is possible to live an active and normal life with this issue as long as the problem can be recognized and treated.

Symptoms of Hearing Loss

It is easier to recognize a health issue when a person is well-versed in the array of possible symptoms of the problem. Similarly, the general awareness regarding the potential symptoms of hearing loss can help a person recognize the problem quickly and seek medical assistance. Some common signs of hearing loss include:

  • continuous or frequent ringing in the ear
  • struggle in comprehending day to day conversations
  • mumbled speech
  • reduced ability to hear noises in the surrounding environment.

These symptoms can be associated with temporary (reversible) or permanent (irreversible) hearing loss.

Evaluation Tests for Hearing Loss

A prevalent misconception about getting a hearing test is that it is a complicated or complex procedure. However a hearing test by a qualified professional is a simple and straightforward process. In fact, there are many licensed and registered hearing care professionals who provide free hearing evaluations.  An investment of an hour or so is the only time required from you to address your hearing loss. 

The three basic components of the hearing evaluation test include: general questions about hearing and overall health, physical examination of the ear canal and eardrum with otoscope (a magnifying light) and an evaluation of the extent of hearing of different types of sounds and words at different volumes (by means of a series of sound played via special designed headphones). The diagnosis helps determine how severe the hearing loss can be. 

As the result of the test, an audiogram is produced which displays the softest sounds you can hear at different pitches. Based on the audiogram the hearing care professional can assess the health of the ears and identify whether there is a hearing loss issue. If the issue is severe, it can require you to use hearing aids. Moreover, the tests also identify the treatments that are likely to help you fight the dreadful medical condition.