Hearing loss is very common, with about 20% of Americans reporting some degree of it. It becomes more common with age, and by the time they’re 65, one in three people has some loss of hearing.
A hearing test is an important component of an examination to determine how well you can hear. In this blog, the board-certified ear, nose, and throat doctors at New York ENT explain more about hearing tests, including when they should be performed.
What is a hearing test?
This type of test is performed to determine how well you can hear by measuring how well sound can reach your brain.
It can involve one or more of the following:
- Audiometric examination – This standard hearing test evaluates your ability to differentiate between similar words. Difficulty doing so usually indicates that you have hearing loss.
- ENG testing – Electronystagmography (ENG) is used to detect inner ear disorders that can affect your balance and problems with the nerves that connect your brain to your eyes and ears. These issues can often indicate a hearing problem. During the test, an ear, nose, and throat doctor will introduce water or air into each ear while recording your eye movements. It can help diagnose conditions such as vertigo, which can affect your hearing.
- ESoG – This test measures the amount of fluid in the ear and can help in diagnosing Meniere’s disease, an inner ear disorder.
When should a hearing test be performed?
This test can be performed to screen babies, young children, and teens for possible hearing loss. It can also be performed if you have any of the following:
- A job that exposes you to loud sounds on a regular basis
- Difficulty understanding words, especially if there’s a lot of background noise (such as in a restaurant)
- Trouble hearing the TV or radio when it’s at a volume that others can hear
- Needing to frequently ask others to speak more slowly or clearly or to repeat themselves
- Balance issues, which can often be associated with a hearing loss
How can a hearing test help you?
A hearing test can also be performed as part a routine wellness check, especially if you’re older. Just as having your eyes checked is important to taking care of your health, so too is a hearing test.
By detecting a possible hearing loss early, you can help avoid social isolation, cognitive decline related to hearing loss, and other issues. Some hearing issues are temporary and can be treated, while others may require the use of a hearing aid.
Ear and hearing problems that aren’t diagnosed can get worse over time and can be related to health issues that can also worsen over time.
If you suspect that you may have some hearing loss, balance issues, or you’d simply like to have your hearing checked, make an appointment today with the ear, nose, and throat specialists at New York ENT. Our board-certified doctors have extensive training and experience in identifying and treating ear and hearing-related issues.