You already know that hearing loss can impact your ability to communicate with others, but did you know untreated hearing loss is associated with depression, anxiety, injurious falls and cognitive decline?

Fortunately, studies show that wearing hearing aids can delay a diagnosis of these conditions. Below we review when you should have your hearing tested so you can seek treatment.

What’s the Difference Between a Hearing Screening & a Hearing Test?

Middle age man at medical examination or checkup in otolaryngologist's office

The purpose of a hearing screening is to determine whether or not you have hearing loss. Types of hearing screenings include online hearing tests, questionnaires in brochures and questions your primary care physician asks. If the screening indicates a loss, it means you need to schedule a comprehensive hearing test.

A hearing test is a comprehensive evaluation that determines the exact cause, type and degree of your hearing loss. Hearing tests often are actually comprised of a series of tests, such as pure tone audiometry, speech testing, otoacoustic emissions and auditory brainstem response. The results of a hearing test are charted an audiogram – a visual representation of your hearing loss – which can be used to program a hearing aid.

Do I Need a Hearing Screening or a Hearing Test?

People who should be screened for hearing loss include newborns, people who work in noisy occupations and people who suspect or whose families suspect they have hearing loss. Types of questions that will be on a screener include:

  • Do you feel as though others are constantly mumbling?
  • Do you ask people to repeat themselves often?
  • Do you turn up the TV to a volume that is uncomfortable for others?
  • Are you missing certain sounds, like rustling leaves and chirping birds?
  • Do you have a hard time understanding the voices of women and children?
  • Do you have difficulty following conversations in areas with lots of background noise like Bar X?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should schedule a hearing test. Other populations who should get a comprehensive hearing test include adults age 60 and older and those with a diagnosed hearing loss. For older adults, it’s important to get a baseline hearing test even if you’re not exhibiting symptoms. For those who already know they have hearing loss and are getting treatment, it’s important to monitor changes to your hearing in case your devices need to be reprogrammed.

For more information about hearing screenings or hearing tests, or to schedule an appointment, call Bountiful Hearing Center today.