Hearing Aid Source Toronto clinics always offer FREE hearing tests. But, what’s involved?
Hearing loss affects everyone. Most people experience hearing loss gradually and many aren’t aware of their hearing loss. However, hearing is an important part of life and at Hearing Aid Source we always say, “Hearing Well is Living Well”. We encourage all to be proactive when it comes to hearing health.
Checking Your Ears for “Test-ability”
There are certain conditions that may temporarily prevent your hearing test from going forward. If your ears contain a bit of wax, that’s normal. However, if the amount of wax is such that your ears are completely blocked (eardrum not visible), the earwax must be removed prior to testing. In this case, a follow up appointment for wax removal may be proposed. Read more about our wax removal services here…
If the condition of one or both of your ears is unstable due to a passing infection or any situation that would temporarily affect your hearing loss, the test may be rescheduled for a later date.
Your Hearing History
The first thing your hearing specialist will do before your hearing test is to review your family and medical history. There are a number of causes of hearing loss and your hearing specialist will want to consider your short-term and long-term medical history to make the best recommendations for possible further treatment.
In addition, your hearing specialist will ask you of any loud noises you have been exposed to that may cause hearing loss. Noise-induced hearing loss is common and can sometimes be temporary, also requiring a different course of treatment.
As well, the hearing specialist might ask how any hearing loss is affecting your day-to-day activities. How you perceive the impact of your hearing loss is important for the specialist to know. These heart-to-heart discussions will form a solid basis for any treatment and will provide a way to measure your satisfaction with the proposed solution.
Once a thorough history has been gathered, your hearing specialist will generally proceed with the hearing test.
The Traditional Hearing Test
Our FREE hearing test will take place in our sound-proof booth where you will put on a headset, sit comfortably and listen. That’s it. It’s painless, thorough and accurate.
We will play a series of pure whistling tones – from bass (thunder sounds, etc.) through to treble (birds/children sounds, etc.) – and you’ll press the buzzer when you hear them.
The results of our hearing test (audiogram) will tell you:
- How much you can hear in each ear.
- How well you hear the loudness of different sounds.
- How well you will hear the pitch of different sounds.
- How well you will hear speech.
- How your life can be improved by living with better hearing.
The speech portion of the exam evaluates your ability to hear speech sounds your ability to understand and repeat back words that are presented at a comfortable listening level. Your specialist may also use speech sounds to determine your most comfortable listening level (MCL) and the upper limits of comfort for listening (UCL).
As part of a hearing exam, your specialist will test your “tympanometry and acoustic reflexes”. For these tests, a soft plug will be placed in each ear which will change pressure and generate noises. This will help gauge how your eardrum is moving and will measure the reflexive responses of the middle ear muscles.
Advanced Test – Our SIN-GAP™ Test
We’re proud to announce our new advanced test we call our SIN-GAP™
test. This test is only offered at Hearing Aid Source
locations and offers many unique measurements relating to the #1 concern of hearing aid wearers – their ability to process speech (desired sounds) in noisy environments
. No other clinics offer the SIN-GAP™
test which compares your perceived speech-in-noise abilities, both unaided and aided and helps to set new targets. We refer to these measured differences as your speech-in-noise “gap” (or SIN-GAP™
). This critical information, not provided through traditional hearing tests, makes it much easier to choose the specific hearing aid and style that will work best for you. Read more about our exciting SIN-GAP™ testing process here…
Understanding Hearing Test Results
Once your hearing specialist has performed the necessary tests, they will discuss the results with you and will recommend treatment or further testing. Test results are presented on an “audiogram” which becomes a part of your medical record, along with our new SIN-GAP™ Evaluation Matrix Form. An audiogram is a graph that displays the softest sounds an individual can hear at different pitches while the SIN-GAP™ form shows you how well you are able to hear speech in noise, both with and without your aids (as described above).
Hearing Aid Evaluation
Once your hearing specialist has determined your type and degree of hearing loss, which can be normal (0-25 dB HL), mild (26-40 dB HL), moderate (41-70 dB HL), severe (71-90 dB HL) or profound (> 91 dB HL), they will advise you on the best course of treatment that meets your hearing loss needs, lifestyle, and budget.
If you need hearing aids, your hearing specialist will discuss the many options you have available to you. Hearing Aid Source
always presents multiple quoted hearing aid options, taking into account your measured needs, your desired lifestyle, and your budget. We also evaluate and review each and every hearing aid we sell. Click here to check out our best-in-class hearing aid lists and clinic reviews…
Hearing aids cannot restore or cure hearing loss but they do make it easier for individuals to hear and communicate on a daily basis. Modern hearing aids are all digital and can be made in a variety of options to be more stylish or discreet.
Online hearing tests
While online hearing test applications should not be used in place of a much more thorough, professional hearing test, they are often a good place to start. We encourage you to check out our 5 minute online hearing screening found here