Hearing loss is often considered a silent condition because many individuals suffer from it for years without knowing or seeking treatment. The first step to take control of your hearing health is to have your hearing tested. Cosmetic Hearing Solutions provides an entire suite of hearing examinations that diagnose the type and severity of hearing loss an individual has.
Diagnostic Hearing Evaluations
Living a happier, more fulfilled life when you have hearing loss begins with a diagnostic hearing evaluation. The evaluation will determine the type, degree and specifics of your particular hearing loss. During the evaluation, an audiologist will perform one or more tests; the results of those tests, called an audiogram, will tell the audiologist about your specific hearing loss.
The type of diagnostic evaluation the audiologist will perform depends on the age of the patient. Types of tests include:
- Air conduction tests: These tests determine the quietest tones a person can hear at multiple frequencies.
- Bone conduction tests: Similar to air conduction tests, these tests help an audiologist determine where the hearing loss originates.
- Speech tests: During speech tests, an audiologist will be able to determine the lowest level at which a patient can recognize words or stimuli. A speech test is usually performed on older children or adults.
- Otoacoustic emissions tests: These tests are often performed on infants or young children and help determine where hearing loss originates.
- Tympanometry: These tests evaluate the function of the middle ear by creating variations of air pressure in the ear canal.
Industrial hearing evaluations
Hearing loss is a major issue in many industries where workers are subject to loud noises for a prolonged period of time. Hearing damage, especially noise-induced hearing loss, is preventable, as long as the right precautions are taken. Along with wearing proper hearing protection, such as earplugs or earmuffs, regular hearing tests are an important part of prevention. Regular hearing tests can detect early signs of hearing loss, helping audiologists or other hearing healthcare professionals detect any signs of hearing loss early on.
Such preventative measures are required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This organization has created requirements and procedures to help work places, such as manufacturing plants, factories and construction sites, prevent and manage hearing loss.
In most cases, OSHA requires employees who are exposed to a time weighted average of 85 decibels be part of a hearing conservation program. Additionally, mobile hearing evaluation units can be beneficial, as they provide on-site evaluation services by an audiologist or other hearing healthcare professional.