What does it look like to get your hearing tested?
The initial test
Many people immediately associate hearing tests with grade school screenings where you pushed the button when you heard certain sounds. While we certainly do some of that, the most important thing is that we have a sound treated enclosure to keep the environment quiet during the hearing test.
We use really light, easy headphones. We want to block your ears up to block out all sounds, and then we close a steel door to make a sound treated environment conducive for a hearing test.
For those of us who are claustrophobic, we are able to test you outside the booth. Then typically we need to use some headphones that are a little bit more bulky. So as long as you don’t mind sitting in an enclosure, we can just use a small, light headphones, which accomplish the same thing.
Most people hear some sounds better than others; maybe you’ve heard of tone deafness. With the way hearing loss works, while most people can hear, we just lose our abilities to lose certain sounds. Most people think, “Gosh, if I could just just pick up the little bits and pieces of what people say, I would hear great.”
And you know what, you’re exactly right. Most people can hear: it’s not a hearing issue for them, but more of a clarity and understanding issue.
Getting into the details
By letting us put you in a sound booth, we test a summary in about an 8,000 different tuning forks. That may sound cumbersome, but it only takes about 10-15 minutes to take this sampling in the sound booth. We want to know where those sound voids come from. Then, we can ascertain what’s too loud for you. There’s a phenomenon called recruitment, where people have an abnormal loudness growth. People who have hearing loss, even though they need certain sounds to be a little louder, can have a lower tolerance for those loud sounds. We certainly don’t want to make things too loud for those patients.
Lastly, we want to be able to ascertain how you can hear a noise too. Most people don’t have a hard time just hearing one on one. It’s when they’re in social environments and restaurants and parties. Our testing procedures allow us to identify what that means for you and what your potential is to hear in noisy situations.
That all helps us to determine what types of products we should be fitting you with, to be able to help you in those environments that best fit your lifestyle.