Hearing loss can be a very scary thing. It is good to go for regular check ups. This is especially true if loved ones suspect hearing loss or the individual themselves feel as though their hearing is not on point. Several things are done to determine loss of hearing, and there are various reasons as to why it can occur in individuals. Let’s see why and how it is done!
The Physical Exam
Nexgen Hearing – Cloverdale, a hearing clinic in Surrey, explains that the first step when looking into hearing loss is to do a physical exam. This can be done by a primary doctor. The purpose of this step is to make sure that everything in the ear appears to be healthy. Sometime people may develop ear infections that can cause hearing loss. Other times it can be a blockage due to ear wax.
A physical exam allows the doctor to rule out a number of possibilities. The doctor will use a special tool to look in the ear. Doctors have been specially trained to be able to spot a number of issues that could occur with the ear. Sometimes though a specialist will need be contacted and the patient will be referred to one.
A Visit to the Audiologist
Sometimes when things cannot be determined by a primary physician, the patient will be referred to an audiologist. They do exactly what it sounds like: test to determine the patient’s audio perception! The procedure to test the individual is painless and usually does not take very long. During the test, a few simple steps occur. They are as follows:
- Headphones will be placed on the individual’s ears.
- A sound will be played in one ear.
- When a sound is heard, the individual will raise the hand on the side that they heard the sound come from.
- Sometimes both hands will need to be raised because the sound will be played in both ears at the same time.
- Never raise a hand if nothing is heard. This can mess up the test and prove for false results. Relax, breathe and just follow the procedure to the best of ability.
This YouTube video shows how an audiologist performs the hearing test on a patient.
The Tuning Fork Test
Sometimes a doctor will do the tuning fork test on an individual. This is when the doctor uses two-pronged tools that produces a sound when hit together. This test can tell the doctor if there is any hearing loss in the patient. It can also tell the doctor if any damage has been done to the ear. Depending on the results, the patient can end up requiring more test or the doctor may determine that their hearing is fine.
For more information on how doctors test for hearing loss, Healthy Hearing offers some great information.
What Are the Causes of Hearing Loss?
There are many different reasons why someone may be experiencing hearing loss, and not all of those reasons are permanent. In fact, hearing loss can sometimes be caused by a simple blockage. It is important to visit a doctor for any suspected hearing loss, and the sooner the better because damage can occur if things are not treated promptly. Take a look at some solutions.
- Ear wax removal: Sometimes ear wax can build up deep down inside of the ear, causing hearing to be impaired or even lost in the ear that the ear wax is built up in. The ear wax will need to be removed by a professional. This may take several visits, especially if the ear wax has hardened in the ear.
- Hearing aides: Hearing aides help an individual hear better. While they may not restore hearing to its fullest, often it can dramatically help someone hear. Sometimes people are born with a need for hearing aids. It is a small device that fits in the ear and is designed to help the individual pick up sound more clearly.
- Cochlear implants: Sometimes implants can be an option. This is usually only done if the person has a very severe loss of hearing. This implant will help the ear hear things that it would generally not be able to hear without the implant due to non-functions parts of the ear. The doctor will decide if this is the best step for an individual.
- Ear drops: Ear drops can be administered to help with hearing loss. These are usually a type of antibiotic. The ear can become infected, which can result in a great deal of pain and temporarily hearing loss. A simple round of ear drops and antibiotics will usually fix things. Sometimes eczema can occur in the ear and drops can be given for that also.