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If you’ve recently noticed changes in your hearing, it may be time to have your hearing checked by a professional. But where should you begin?
Here’s everything you need to know about hearing screenings.
Online hearing screenings
If you’ve noticed changes in your hearing or suspect you’re having difficulty hearing, a good first step is to take an online hearing screening. Although an online hearing screening can never substitute for real consultation with a hearing care professional, it can serve as a good starting point that may motivate you to take the next steps.
Your free Beltone appointment
The next step is to book your free appointment at a hearing care office near you. Hearing consultations are recommended for all those over the age of 50 to set a baseline understanding of hearing health.
Your Beltone hearing consultation will involve several methods for measuring your hearing health, followed by decisions about the best hearing solution for you. Let’s go through each of the steps one by one.
Step One: Lifestyle assessment
First and foremost, it’s important to know about your lifestyle and hearing priorities.
- Do you enjoy spending time outdoors?
- Do you spend time in large groups of friends and family?
- Do you like watching television, going to the theater or worship services?
- Do you work outside the home?
Knowing these things facts will help the Beltone team provide care that’s individualized for you.
Step Two: Learning your health history
The Beltone team also needs to know major points about your health and any medications you may take. Did you know that several common conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and kidney disease can negatively impact your hearing? In addition, several medications are known to be “ototoxic,” which means they could damage your hearing over time or increase the symptoms of tinnitus.
Your Beltone hearing care professional will need to know if:
- You’re recovering from a cold or ear/sinus infection
- You’re in pain on a consistent basis
- You’re taking prescription medicine or antibiotics
Step Three: Understanding your hearing journey
Your hearing care professional will also want to know what you’ve experienced in terms of your hearing. Below are common questions you may be asked during the consultation:
- Is there a history of hearing loss in your family?
- Are one or both of your ears affected?
- Have you spent a lot of time around industrial noises?
- Were you chronically subjected to loud noise at any point in your life?
- Do your ears frequently ring?
Step Three: Assessments
There are several methods that may be used during your free hearing consultation for taking an assessment of your hearing, including:
- A visual examination of your ear using a video otoscope
- Tympanometry (ear drum test)
- Air and bone conduction testing
- Word discrimination testing
- Signal-in-noise (SIN) testing
Step Four: Hearing screening results
Next, the hearing care professional will review your results on an audiogram. An audiogram is a visual representation of how well you are hearing. This will inform the decision you and the hearing care professional make about which hearing aid is the best solution for you.
Step Five: Hearing aid demonstration
At Beltone, you always have the option to “try before you buy.” You may even get to “test drive” your new hearing aids for a few days to see how they can help in your day-to-day activities.
Step Six: Fitting your new hearing aids
The next important step is the fitting process. When you’re fit with your new Beltone hearing aids, your feedback and experience will shape the outcome. Your hearing care professional will continue to make adjustments until you’ve become fully accustomed to your new hearing aids in your day-to-day life.