Do I need a hearing test?

As we get older regular hearing tests, like eye tests, become an important part of our healthcare routine. We’ve put together some simple criteria to help decide whether a free hearing test would benefit you:

» You’re over 60 and have never had a hearing test – Many people lose some of their hearing as they get older; it’s a natural process and by the time we’re 60 over half of us will have some degree of age-related hearing loss. If you’re over 60 it’s wise to start taking care of your hearing; attending a hearing test every 2 years with us is a simple first step.

» It’s over 2 years since your last hearing test – Our hearing levels change over time. If it’s 2 years or more since your last hearing test, we recommend you book an appointment . A hearing test is just as important if you already wear a hearing aid as changes to your hearing levels can affect how efficiently it supports you.

» You feel you’re not hearing as well as you used to – Hearing loss usually occurs so gradually that the early signs are easy to miss. You may not notice the changes to your hearing for some time – in fact for many people its friends or family members who notice the symptoms first. If any of the following hearing loss symptoms seem familiar, you could benefit from a hearing test:

  • You sometimes mishear or misunderstand conversation; especially in background noise – It’s not necessarily that you can’t hear people talking; you just can’t hear them clearly. This can make it difficult to follow, and take part in conversations with friends and family. This can also be a challenge with conversations over the telephone when you can’t see the person face to face.
  • You have the television turned up louder than others find comfortable – Lots of people who come to see us say television is a particular issue. Turning up the volume may help, but an increase in volume doesn’t always mean an increase in clarity and can mean people watching with you find it too loud for comfort.
  • You feel tired from trying to hear and follow conversations – Concentrating hard to hear a group of friends or even the television at a low level can take its toll; you can feel tired, experience headaches or even stress.

Our Hearing Tests

Free of charge, this simple but comprehensive test takes about an hour and includes the following 4 stages:

 Firstly we’ll discuss your hearing with you. This will include questions about your health and hearing history but also your lifestyle (as this can often impact on how your hearing affects you). This will also help us to understand possible causes for     any hearing problems.

Next we’ll examine your ears. From this we’ll be able to assess the general health of your ear and ear canal and identify any wax, obstruction or infection that may be affecting your ability to hear clearly – If we do discover anything that requires attention from your GP we’ll refer you straight away.

The third stage is the hearing test itself. We’ll present you with a series of sounds and ask you to press a button whenever you hear one. As the test progresses we’ll plot the details of your hearing on a graph called an audiogram, which will provide a ‘picture’ of your hearing levels. If appropriate we may also carry out a spoken word test to assess how well you can hear speech with and without background noise.

Finally we’ll take you through your results. If the test indicates your hearing is within normal levels we’ll invite you to come back for your next regular check in 2 years time.If your hearing test indicates you have some level of hearing loss we’ll take the time to discuss your options with you. One of these options may be to consider a hearing aid. At Independent living & hearing we have a wide range of styles, sizes and prices which we can take you through we’ll even let you hear for yourself with a free demonstration.