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Preparing for Your
Hearing Test

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Hearing tests are designed to identify your hearing ability, with the results used to find the best solutions for hearing loss. The hearing test is a painless, noninvasive process that will empower you to improve your hearing health.

In preparation for your hearing test, we encourage you to gather information about your personal and family medical history. In some cases, changes in your hearing may be caused by related medical conditions or medication.

Step #1 – The Consultation

The first part of the hearing exam is a conversation between you and Dr. Mendoza. She will ask you about your hearing: when you first noticed changes, what situations are particularly challenging for you, etc. You will also discuss your medical history, including your family’s, and whether you’ve recently been exposed to loud noises or experienced injury to your head or neck area. Dr. Mendoza will also ask for information on your lifestyle, occupation, and recreational interests, as these may all affect your hearing.

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Step #2 – Physical Examination

Following the consultation, Dr. Mendoza will conduct a simple physical examination of your ear. This is an important step to identify any issues in your outer ear that could be causing a hearing loss. Using a tool called an otoscope, your audiologist will check your ears for obstruction in the ear canal or damage to the ear drum. Some patients experience signs of hearing loss because of a treatable issue in their outer ear, like cerumen (ear wax).

Step #3 – The Actual Hearing Evaluation

After the physical examination, you will be asked to sit in a sound proof room for a series of hearing tests. These hearing tests identify the type and degree of hearing loss you have. Dr. Mendoza will provide you with a pair of headphones, through which sounds will be played, one ear at a time. When you hear a sound, you will be asked to raise the hand matching the corresponding ear.

In a second test, your audiologist will read a series of words or sentences, at varying volumes. This speech recognition test requires you to repeat what your audiologist has said.

Other hearing tests may include auditory brainstem response, which identifies sensorineural hearing loss by testing your auditory neural pathway. This painless test requires no action from you; electrodes are placed on your forehead and ears and your audiologist records our brain function as sounds are played.

Step #4 – The Results

At the completion of testing, Dr. Mendoza will review your results, which are recorded in an audiogram. The audiogram is a visual representation of your hearing ability by ear. Results from the tone test will appear on the audiogram, while the speech recognition test will be recorded as a percentage. Your audiologist will identify and explain any issues with your hearing, and will recommend next steps based on results of your hearing test. Informed by the earlier consultation, your audiologist will work with you to personalize treatment for your hearing.

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Industrial Hearing Screenings

Optimum Audiology provides industrial hearing screenings for people who work in hazardous noise environments. It is especially important before beginning a new job in a noisy environment to establish a baseline of hearing ability. We recommend regular assessments to measure and monitor hearing ability.

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Occupational Hearing Hazards

The US Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that 30 million Americans are exposed annually to unsafe levels of noise on the job. For example, one eight-hour shift in which a worker is exposed to 85 decibels of sound (such as in a factory or a dentist office) has the potential to cause permanent hearing damage. As the length of exposure time or the level of volume increases, so does the damage to one’s hearing.

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Custom Hearing Protection

Hearing protection is crucial to healthy hearing on the job. OSHA requires that employers provide hearing protection for employees in jobs with hazardous noise levels. People who work in the following industries would most benefit from custom hearing protection:

  • Industrial
  • Construction
  • Dentistry
  • Law Enforcement
  • Firefighting
  • Musicians
Call Optimum Audiology at760-245-8645for employment related
hearing screenings and custom hearing protection.

Interested in scheduling a hearing test?

We invite you to schedule a hearing test with our experienced audiologist, Dr. Mendoza.

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