If you’ve noticed trouble hearing, whether at the movies or when out with friends at World Cup Coffee & Crepes, it might be time to schedule a hearing test.
Hearing tests are quick, painless exams that offer immediate insight into the degree of your hearing loss. The results from your test will be displayed in a chart or graph known as an audiogram.
What Is an Audiogram?
Audiograms plot your hearing thresholds across a range of frequencies (pitches) in each ear. A hearing threshold refers to the softest sound you can hear about 50% of the time.
Audiograms are most useful for identifying deficits in hearing by looking at how sound travels through the auditory system.
On your audiogram you will see a horizontal (x) and a vertical (y) axis. The x-axis represents the frequency range. The range tested is usually between 250-8,000 Hz. The y-axis indicates the intensity or loudness of a sound in decibels (dB), with the lowest levels at the top of the graph.
Normal hearing for an adult is classified as being able to hear noises between zero to 25 decibels across the frequency range.
What if My Audiogram Shows I Have Hearing Loss?
If your audiogram falls outside of the normal range and indicates that you have hearing loss, you and your audiologist will work together to figure out a treatment plan that best meets your needs. Hearing aids are the most common treatment for hearing loss, though other devices, such as cochlear implants may be needed in severe or profound cases.
Benefits of Using Hearing Aids
While the prospect of needing hearing aids may be difficult at first, modern devices are effective, discreet and have a myriad of technology features that improve hearing and enhance user experience.
Treating your hearing loss with hearing aids offers benefits that go far beyond improving your ability to hear. People who use hearing aids experience:
- Lower levels of anxiety and depression
- Better balance and a lower risk of injury from falls
- Lower risk of cognitive decline and dementia
- Increased confidence at work and in social settings
- Stronger connections with others
If you would like additional information or wish to schedule an appointment with one of our hearing experts, contact Topeka ENT today.