It’s not always easy to tell whether your hearing is getting worse. In fact, many people don’t realize that it has been happening until they have a hearing test done and notice the difference in their ability to hear certain sounds. If you’re worried about your hearing, here are some things you should know about hearing loss and how it typically progresses.
What is a Hearing Test Evaluation, and How Does It Work?
A hearing test evaluation is done by a professional who uses various methods to test your hearing. The air conduction hearing test is the most common form, which sends sound waves through earphones or speakers into each ear and measures how clearly you can hear them in different frequencies.
If you’re having your hearing tested, the audiologist will test each ear at different frequencies to understand how well it detects sounds. The results of this evaluation are used to determine if there is a problem with one or both of your ears and whether it’s temporary (like when you have an ear infection) or permanent (like when you have age-related hearing loss).
How Do I Know if My Hearing Is Slowly Getting Worse?
Hearing loss is typically gradual and will happen slowly enough to notice until the problem gets serious. It’s only when your hearing reaches a certain point that you can feel or see the difference.
There are several ways that people commonly lose their ability to hear over time. Hearing loss typically starts at higher pitches and then gradually affects lower pitches, meaning that you might notice your ability to hear speech is getting worse before music or other sounds are affected.
It can also be caused by a buildup of earwax or fluid in the ears, an infection that affects your hearing temporarily, or a problem with some aspect of your inner ear.
What Can I Do About It?
The best way to deal with gradual hearing loss is to catch it early and take action before there’s too much damage. If you notice that your hearing is getting worse or if it’s been gradually declining for a while, book an appointment with your audiologist to discuss the issue and see whether there are steps you can take to improve things. Most likely, a hearing test will be performed to see how well your ears are detecting sounds.
Preparing for Your Hearing Test Evaluation
When you go in for your hearing test, make sure to follow these tips:
- Make sure you’re well-rested and haven’t been exposed to any loud sounds the night before.
- If you wear hearing aids, make sure they are fully charged and with you when your test is scheduled
- If you’ve had any ear infections recently or if your hearing has fluctuated lately, make sure to tell the audiologist.
Do I Need Treatment?
If your results indicate a problem with your ears, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need treatment right away. Your doctor might recommend making some lifestyle changes to see whether they improve your hearing before proceeding with further action.
Some lifestyle changes that might improve your ability to hear include quitting smoking, wearing earplugs when you go out in loud places, and avoiding certain medication or alcohol intake if it has been proven to cause tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
If you suspect that your hearing is getting worse, it’s best to visit a professional who can perform a hearing test. Remember, early detection and treatment can make a huge difference for your future ability to hear.